A captain in the Connecticut Army National Guard and marketing manager for Guida’s Milk and Ice Cream in New Britain wants to unseat U.S. Rep. John Larson, the fourth highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Announcing his bid for Larson’s First Congressional District seat Monday, West Hartford Republican Mark Zydanowicz had strong words for Larson’s involvement in healthcare reform and his position in Democratic leadership.
As one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top lieutenants on healthcare reform, Zydanowicz said that Larson, has “forgotten who he works for.” Because of Larson’s support of the health care bill “thousands of jobs in our district are at risk,” he said.
“Unlike John Larson, I understand health care,” Zydanowicz said. He explained that he has underwritten health care plans and as a business owner provides health care coverage to his employees.
“There is no doubt that our health care industry is in desperate need of repair,” Zydanowicz said. “But rather than send the bill to the taxpayer to create more government jobs in Washington for government bureaucrats to make decisions on who gets what care, we need to rely on private business to work with health care providers to make the system work better for consumers.”
The House hopeful said that Larson’s “hunger for power and popularity” have caused him to lose his way. “John Larson has spent most of his life in politics and has shown us that he cares more about where he fits in the party leadership than the people he represents.”
Zydanowicz called Larson a “leader of Nancy Pelosi’s team” and as such has “gone on an attack of the American Dream and the American people.”
“He is part of the inner circles that have shredded the Constitution to get their way,” he said.
Zydanowicz’s plan for helping Connecticut is in line with those of other Republicans angry over bank bailouts and stimulus packages. “There’s a misconception that government can create jobs. Government can only get bigger, it can only cost us more money,” Zydanowicz said.
Zydanowicz, who has never held elected office, is likely to face an uphill battle against Larson. In 2008 Larson defeated former West Hartford Councilman Joe Visconti 194,493 to 76,860.
Larson is currently serving his sixth term in Congress and was elected Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, making him the fourth highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On the far left, Larson also is being challenged by Chris Hutchinson, a member of the Socialist Party.
In mid-March, Hutchinson, who is a 27-year-old art teacher from Hartford, announced his candidacy against Larson.
“Many figures of the establishment have recently grown hoarse railing against the spectre of socialism,” said Hutchinson, a political cartoonist and a longtime activist in the state anti-war organization. “But what they fear is not a health care plan that forces people to buy private insurance. They fear working people stepping onto the stage of history. They fear the birth of a society that puts human need before profit,” Hutchinson said in a news release.