Mazurek, Sampson Tangle for 80th Seat

Go to to see recent articles about this race as well as past letters to the editor and votes. (search the archives)

Self-styled conservative Democrat John “Corky” Mazurek is in yet another battle to represent Wolcott and a portion of the Marion and Plantsville sections of Southington on Tuesday. Mazurek has represented Wolcott for 8 years and was challenged in 2008 by a liberal wing of his own party in a primary. He survived the challenge by just over 80 votes. Two years prior to that he sought to possibly run for an open State Senate seat, but again was blocked by other elements in the Democratic Party. The politics this year have changed for the 4 four term Democrat, however in a more traditional matchup. Of course, most of the district is Wolcott, so nothing is traditional.

This year he is being challenged by local realtor Rob Sampson. Sampson entered the race after being fed up with what he was seeing in Hartford and across the country. “I got tired of yelling at my TV and figured this would be a way to change things,” he says. Sampson brings with him a business background in running a Unionville based real estate firm. Among the reasons he is running is that there is talk, including from Rep. Mazurek that taxes could be raised to balance the state’s projected $2.5 Billion deficit. “There was a budget proposal by Republicans that would not have raised taxes or fees and would have balanced the budget. But Democrats voted against it,” said Sampson at a recent forum.

Mazurek has written columns in the Waterbury Republican- American and has been praised for his fiscal responsibility, however at the end of this year’s session he voted to give Democratic Governor nominee Dan Malloy an extra $3 million on top of what was already allocated to him under the Citizens Election Program. Many Democrats saw this as a way to even the playing field with the money Tom Foley had raised privately. Sampson further criticizes Mazurek for a vote he made authorizing bonding (borrowing) for $950 Million for the state budget that he voted against.

Mazurek throughout the year has positioned himself as go-between to push both Democratic and Republican leaderships in solving the state’s fiscal woes. He wrote a letter to the editor criticizing Rell’s budget while in January he joined 14 other Democrats to push leaders of his own party to work on the deficit with meaningful corrections. Yet, Sampson is focusing his aim on Mazurek’s most recent votes.

Sampson says that the Republican alternative budget – which was proposed by House Republicans, but not endorsed by Gov. Rell – would have solved the state’s budget without raising taxes. Rell also stated she did not raise taxes – but fees at the DMV and other areas were doubled instead. Sampson said that the Republican proposal could have lowered taxes and promoted increased business in Connecticut. Sampson also says he signed the Common Commitment to Connecticut which has the following 7 principles:

1. Spend No More Than You make
2. Borrow Only What You Can Afford to Pay Back
3. The More Government Tries to do, the Less it Does Well
4. If its Not Broken, Don’t Fix It. But if its Not Working, Get Rid of It.
5. Government Doesn’t Create Jobs, People do
6. All The Government We Need, But Only The Government We Need
7. Empower Local Governments to Make Local Decisions

While Sampson has largely been running against the Democratic- Party dominated state legislature and not Mazurek specifically, at last week’s Junior Women’s Club forum, Sampson has occasionally suggested Mazurek as a career politician. Mazurek shot back saying “I’m not a career politician. I’m a career engineer” referring to his 37 years working at Pratt and Whitney.


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