Herbst wins GOP endorsement for state treasurer

On Saturday, First Selectman Timothy Herbst accepted the endorsement of the Connecticut Republican Party Convention  to challenge 16-year incumbent State Treasurer Denise Nappier.

Herbst faces a potential primary with Bob Eick of Ridgefield, a partner in CRT Capital Group, who received about 30% of the vote during the convention at the Mohegan Sun.

Herbst's campaign website, TimforConnecticut.com, released a transcript of acceptance speech, posted below:

Mr. Chairman, delegates, friends and fellow citizens:

I am honored by your endorsement and I proudly accept our party’s nomination for State Treasurer.

What a great job Mayor Erin Stewart did here this afternoon. Erin is the future of our party and I want to thank my friend Dick Moccia for his kind words. I am extraordinarily grateful to my team of volunteers and staff who have worked so hard to get this campaign off the ground. As I stand here tonight, I am also especially grateful to my family and also to the people of Trumbull, who started me on the path that has led me here today.

I stand before you this afternoon the son of public school teachers. I was born here, raised here and went to college here. My parents taught me that with hard work, anything is possible. They also taught me to lead with honesty and integrity, because public service is a public trust. While so many people my age have left Connecticut and lost hope, I want to work with a Republican Governor to make sure that the reality of Connecticut lives up to the promise of Connecticut.

My friends, there are a lot of great stories in politics of the underdog winning and this is going to be one of them.

Denise Nappier has been in office for 16 long years and her record is one of the worst in the nation. The state’s fiscal condition represents a clear and present danger to the taxpayers of Connecticut and our pension fund is a poster child for fiscal irresponsibility.

I have a message for Dan Malloy, Denise Nappier and all the Hartford bureacrats. You know who they are – - the taxers, the takers and the can kickers that have made a mess of our state government. Change is coming to the State Treasurer’s office and change begins today!

My friends, I’ve faced these problems before. After 32 years of Democrat control in Trumbull, taxes were too high and years of political pandering and cronyism had taken their toll.

I inherited a budget out of whack and in deficit. Trumbull’s pensions were only funded at 27% and the financial rating agencies advised us that they were ready to downgrade our credit rating as a result of this poor performance.

Outrageous tax increases and out of control spending caused record high home foreclosures and people leaving because they couldn’t afford it anymore. Sound familiar?

I made a promise to the people of Trumbull that I would clean up town government, reform the way we managed their hard-earned tax dollars, and do our best to lower the tax burden while improving their quality of life.

I believe in leading by example. That’s why when I was elected First Selectman of Trumbull, I took a voluntary pay cut, refused a Town pension and reduced my own office budget by 22 percent.

  • We turned a budget deficit into a budget surplus
  • We cut spending and reduced taxes for the first time in 30 years.
  • We enacted comprehensive pension reform to fix the mess we inherited.
  • Fitch, Moody’s and S&P have lauded our approach to reforming the pension fund and setting it on a path to prosperity.
  • At a time when federal and state credit has been downgraded and compromised, Trumbull’s credit rating was recently upgraded.
  • I will take that record of reform to Hartford as your next State Treasurer.

Connecticut is at the bottom of nearly every economic and financial ranking across the country.

Atop the long list of lasts that you’ve heard a lot about over the last couple of days:

  • Connecticut ranks 49 out of 50 as having the worst pension fund in the nation;
  • 49 out of 50 in our ability to pay our bills;
  • For every man, woman and child in the State of Connecticut there is $12,000 of debt to cover our unfunded obligations.

What does this mean for you and the taxpayers of Connecticut?

  • Teachers and state workers whose benefits are on the line
  • Higher taxes for all Connecticut residents to shoulder the burden
  • Lower bond ratings and a higher cost of borrowing

After 16 years of stale leadership and failure, one thing is clear. It is time. It is time to fire Denise Nappier!

My friends, we cannot CANNOT TAX or INVEST our way out of this problem. It is time to send a reformer with results to the Treasurer’s office.

We need a State Treasurer that will stop playing politics with the pension fund and make investment decisions that honor our commitments while limiting the impact on Connecticut taxpayers.

We need a State Treasurer that will help lead comprehensive legislative reform to ensure that the financial obligations we undertake in the future are financially sustainable;

We need a State Treasurer that will implement a system of checks and balances to make sure investment decisions are made in a prudent, responsible and collaborative manner.

And we need a State Treasurer that will lead by example. And just as I did in Trumbull, if I am elected State Treasurer, I will refuse a pension from the State of Connecticut to set the tone of just how serious I am in fixing this problem.

Governor Malloy, that’s how I define shared sacrifice and unlike you and Denise Nappier, I will not put shared sacrifice on the backs of the hard working taxpayers of Connecticut.

My friends, today is the beginning of a long-road ahead for our Party. We have 170 days to make our case and I pledge to do everything in my power to win this election and help elect a Republican Governor so together we can restore fiscal sanity to this great state.

Connecticut is ready for a new generation of leadership and I am excited to take us there.

Thank you, may God bless you and may God bless the great State of Connecticut.