Roraback has the experience, flexibility
Roraback's experience, flexibility make him pick among GOP field
Published 1:00 am, Monday, August 5, 2013
Andrew Roraback has compiled a solid track record in the Connecticut legislature while maintaining a willingness to reach across the political aisle.
The Goshen resident, in his sixth term as a state senator representing the 30th District, gets our endorsement in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District over Lisa Wilson-Foley, of Simsbury, Justin Bernier, of Plainville and Mark Greenberg, of Litchfield.
He also has the Republican Party's endorsement.
Sen. Roraback's GOP primary opponents have questioned his conservative bona fides, based on a voting record that has sometimes strayed from the ideological right.
But voting and ideas should not fall predictably along partisan lines.
We were troubled by Sen. Roraback's reversal of position on the death penalty. A longtime proponent of repeal in Connecticut, he voted against it this spring.
He said he was not opposed to striking down capital punishment, but voted against the bill because it excluded an amendment to end the state's early release program.
That flip-flop might be interpreted as a lack of conviction to diverge from the conservative consensus when it really counts. But the body of his record suggests Sen. Roraback could be effective regardless of the outcome of the presidential election.
And the last thing the country needs is a continuation of congressional gridlock.
If Sen. Roraback were to win the primary and the November election, he would do well to emulate his Democratic predecessor, U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy of Cheshire, co-chairman of the common-ground-seeking Center Aisle Caucus.
Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Bernier and Ms. Wilson-Foley -- none of whom have held public office -- all have high political ambitions.
Ms. Wilson-Foley, also 52, ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, and has owned a succession of businesses, making her name primarily as a health care entrepreneur.
She has vowed to bring a business-friendly perspective to Washington. But the momentum of her run for Congress was slowed by the federal investigation of former Gov. John G. Rowland, who has been a volunteer for Ms. Wilson-Foley's campaign and a paid consultant for her husband's business.
Mr. Bernier, 36, a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, presents himself as an ardent conservative with a specific plan for job creation. He acknowledges a role for government in some aspects of health care, including assisting those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Mr. Greenberg, 58, is a real-estate businessman running on a promise to help dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which he and many conservatives refer to as "Obamacare." He has also created a pledge, which his opponents declined to sign, calling in part for term limits of eight years in Congress.
Among the GOP primary field, Sen. Roraback is the only one with experience as a lawmaker. His skills and open-mindedness suggest he is best qualified among 5th District Republican candidates to make the transition to Congress.