State Sen. Michael McLachlan, a Republican, has performed constituent service with good intent for the past four years for the 24th District, which includes Danbury, Sherman, New Fairfield and a portion of Bethel.

Sen. McLachlan's family has long ties to Danbury's industrial past, and the city native has been sincere and diligent in representing the district.

But we think some of the political positions Sen. McLachlan has espoused are out of the mainstream of the district and have diverted attention from more pressing local issues.

One of the more fringe ventures was Sen. McLachlan's "birther" bill, which called for a presidential candidate to prove birth in this country. Not one other legislator agreed to sponsor the bill.

We are endorsing Democrat Jason Bartlett as the candidate who would best represent the 24th District.

Mr. Bartlett, a two-term state representative from the 2nd District until losing re-election two years ago, has been a consistently strong advocate for education reform and was able to get the state to raise from 16 to 17 the minimum age at which a student could legally drop out of school.

Mr. Bartlett has also been an aggressive promoter of improved rail service for Greater Danbury, an issue of economic importance, and he has a proven record of being more effective than Sen. McLachlan in working across the aisle.

In a race that offers a more clearly defined choice than any other in the area, we urge voters to cast their ballots on Nov. 6 for Jason Bartlett.