State Rep. John Shaban of Redding, who represents Redding, Easton and Weston in the General Assembly, opened his campaign\u2019s district-wide headquarters in Bridgeport last Thursday afternoon. Shaban is the first Republican Congressional Candidate to place his general election headquarters in the City of Bridgeport, according to his campaign. The Republican, not seeking re-election in the 135th General Assembly District, is challenging Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, who is seeking a fifth term in the 4th Congressional District, which includes most of Fairfield County. Shaban, who several times during the opening referred to his background as a semi-professional football player, for 15 years has operated a sports-related nonprofit in Bridgeport. Athletes in the Community Inc. focuses on teaching underprivileged children to transfer their athletic efforts toward improving their education and life skills. \u201cIt\u2019s been an ongoing effort for more than a decade to get kids to improve their lives, to work as hard at life as they do in sports,\u201d Shaban, a Greenwich-based attorney, said. \u201cWorking out of Bridgeport, not only is it not unusual for me, it\u2019s something that I\u2019m proud to do and I\u2019m glad we were able to post up right here,\u201d he said. https:\/\/youtu.be\/dsb1GrkzRII He also reflected on his family\u2019s ties to Bridgeport, with a sister living in the North End and his wife\u2019s family, the Bullards, once operating a factory at what is now Bullard Square, home to a wholesale club and movie theaters. Similar, he said, to the Brooklyn neighborhoods where he grew up, Shaban said Bridgeport is emblematic of the failures of state and federal government. \u201cWe do not manage our resources properly,\u201d Shaban said. \u201cWe are a state that sends almost the most per capita down to our federal government, gets back almost the least on our rate of return, and here we have failing schools, hospitals being cut, school budgets getting cut, infrastructure that doesn\u2019t work,\u201d he said. \u201cWe have the federal government sending us back 60 something cents on the dollar historically, which puts us at the bottom of the rate of return list, and then telling us how we can spend our own money,\u201d he added, \u201cTelling us how to spend our own money on local issues.\u201d \u201cI love it, you call it a grant,\u201d Shaban later commented. \u201cI give you a dollar, you give me 60 cents back and then want to get congratulated for giving me some of my own money back.\u201d Shaban recalled the state being unable to change laws regarding pedestrian safety without jeopardizing federal \u201csafe sidewalk\u201d funds. \u201cWe can\u2019t even cross the street in the state of Connecticut without worrying about how much of our own money we might get back from a federal government that doesn\u2019t answer to us,\u201d Shaban said. \u201cThat is the wrong way to manage your resources.\u201d \u201cPromise and prosperity\u201d seen 20 years ago are \u201cslowly bleeding\u201d out of the state, Shaban said, but can return because resources are still here. \u201cWe just haven\u2019t had the management to do it,\u201d he said. In a press release announcing the opening of his headquarters, Shaban resurrected an image used by Himes when he first won election to Congress. \u201cIt was just eight years ago when then-challenger Jim Himes criticized Congressman Chris Shays for failing to effect repairs on the Congress Street Bridge in Bridgeport,\u201d Shaban said in a press release. \u201cEight years later there is still no crossing and Jim Himes is nowhere to be found." Shaban called Himes \u201ca nice guy\u201d but \u201csort of done-nothing, do nothing,\u201d and said the rest of Connecticut\u2019s Congressional coalition, all Democrats, are \u201cnot even the room when folks are deciding how much of our own money we might get back.\u201d Reflecting back on his football background, Shaban said he\u2019s a \u201cteam guy,\u201d and that has been lacking on the state and federal levels. \u201cThis isn\u2019t Democrats vs. Republicans,\u201d he said. \u201cThis is a team, the people of the state of Connecticut, that need to work together and put people above politics.\u201d Shaban graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned a law degree, cum laude, and ABA Environmental Law Certificate at Pace University School of Law. Shaban is a partner at Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan in Greenwich and works primarily as a commercial litigator. Before being elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 2010, Shaban served as the chairman of the Redding Water Pollution Control Commission and as vice chairman of the Redding Zoning Commission. Shaban is a coach and president of the Aspetuck Wildcats Association (Easton, Redding and Weston) and guided his 2008 team to an AYF National Championship in the seventh grade division.