ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATES

The Attorney General serves as legal counsel to state agencies and represents the State in civil legal matters. View candidates for other offices here.

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PAUL DOYLE

Democratic candidate for Attorney General
Campaign website: www.doyle4ct.com
Occupation: Attorney
Previous Elected Offices: Wethersfield Town Council, State Representative, 28th District, State Senator

What is your education story?

I’m a proud graduate of Wethersfield Public Schools (where, I’m also proud to say, my mother was a teacher). I graduated from Colby College in 1985 and received my law degree from the University of Connecticut in 1990.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

The Attorney General is not a policy making role per se – but it has the important job of fighting to support the actions and decisions of the legislative and executive branches, a role I would aggressively undertake. Additionally, I want to note that as a legislator, I always fought for early education funding and to maintain or increase aid to municipalities.

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

Yes – we need to increase funding to address the educational outcome disparities and inequalities between the urban and suburban school districts in Connecticut.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

I view the job of Attorney General as – first and foremost – being the lawyer for the people. I also feel strongly that in an age when the Trump Administration is pushing policies and actions that violate many of our most cherished values, attorneys general around the nation will be key players in defending our environment, health, rights and other liberties. The people of Bridgeport know how it feels to need an advocate. 

 

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SUE HATFIELD

Republican candidate for Attorney General
Campaign website: www.hatfield2018.com
Occupation: Assistant State’s Attorney, Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice
Previous Elected Offices: Plainfield Planning and Zoning Commission

What is your education story?

I’m a product of Connecticut public schools. My parents taught me to work hard in school, and thankfully that’s what I did, which led to me becoming a member of the National Honor Society at Griswold High School. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to receive a full basketball and academic scholarship at American International University, and then went on to receive degrees from Stetson University College of Law and the Georgetown University Law Center.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

As a product of Connecticut public schools, I’m a strong proponent of ensuring that all kids have the resources they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. As attorney general, I will use every tool and resource available to my office to help bolster reading levels in Bridgeport and elsewhere across the state. And, I’ll be a vocal advocate for policies and initiatives that prepare our kids for graduation and future success.

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

I believe that all kids should have access to a high-quality education, regardless of where they live. Unfortunately, many of our state’s policymakers haven’t proven that they are up to the task of tackling profound education issues, which includes finding a reasonable solution to our state’s broken school funding formula. It’s up to the legislative branch to tackle this issue, and I’m a proponent of any solution that helps Bridgeport and cities and towns statewide.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

The leaders that we choose today will help decide the direction of Connecticut, and whether we have a school system and economy that works for everyone. Growing up, I had some exceptional role models, teachers, and coaches that gave me words of encouragement and motivation to succeed. That’s why I’m committed to fighting for everyone in Bridgeport and across the state as attorney general, and to making sure kids get the high-quality education they deserve.

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CHRIS MATTEI

Democratic candidate for Attorney General
Campaign website: www.matteiforct.com
Occupation: Attorney
Previous Elected Offices: None

What is your education story?

When I first graduated from college, I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a teacher. I got a job teaching high school English on a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona. I was teaching kids who were stuck in some of the worst intergenerational poverty in our country.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

As Attorney General, I will have limited authority to set education policy. However, as the state’s top attorney, I do have responsibility for working with state agencies to insure that the state is meeting its constitutional obligation to provide access to a quality education to every child. Persistent low reading scores are an indication that the state may not be fulfilling that responsibility in struggling school districts.

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

Yes. Bridgeport faces similar challenges to other cities in Connecticut. A property tax base that cannot support adequate educational services for a student population that is dealing with far greater challenges than their suburban peers. The State’s funding formula and not properly followed by the State. In my judgment, the state should reform the way in which it funds education by overhauling the property tax.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

I’m running for Attorney General to be a voice for people who have too often gone unheard and unseen. I believe that’s the job of the Attorney General. And Bridgeport is one of those communities that has been neglected by state policy makers for far too long. I have spent a career taking on the abuse of power and standing up for marginalized communities.

JOHN SHABAN

Republican candidate for Attorney General
Campaign website: www.shabanforag.com
Occupation: Lawyer / Civil Litigator (25 years)
Previous Elected Offices: State Representative, 135th District

What is your education story?

I attended Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn NY, and attended public middle and high school in Westchester NY. I received my BA from University of Colorado in Boulder studying astrophysics and political science. I went to Pace University School of Law graduating cum laude with an Environmental Law Degree.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

As a state legislator, I repeatedly voted in favor of improving education, and especially for improving reading in preschool. Before kids can read to learn they need to learn to read at an early age. I was proud to support the Governor’s initiatives on this front. As Attorney General I will continue my mission to restore the promise and prosperity to our State, while protecting the citizens of Connecticut as their chief civil litigation counsel. 

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

Connecticut’s Educational Cost Sharing formula is complicated and ever-changing. Year to year it is almost impossible to predict what one district will get compared to previous years. I support magnet schools in Bridgeport, and have worked closely with Mayor Ganim and Bridgeport legislators to support the refinancing of the City’s pension deals to help fund crucial needs like education.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

I run a small not-for-profit in Bridgeport (Athletes in the Community), where we teach to kids to work as hard at life as they do at sports. Through AITC I also support the SW CT Grizzlies out of Housatonic Community College where we pull in young men back to school through college club football. I am proud to be a part of this program, which has put over 40 at-risk young men into four-year colleges.

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WILLIAM TONG

Democratic candidate for Attorney General
Campaign website: www.williamtong.com
Occupation: Attorney and State Representative
Previous Elected Offices: State Representative, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee

What is your education story?

I owe my opportunity to run for Attorney General to great teachers, safe and well-resourced schools, and committed parents. When I first started school, my immigrant parents spoke very poor English and worked day and night, seven days a week. But committed teachers in a Connecticut public school helped me get a strong start so I could break barriers later in life as the first Asian American elected at the state level in Connecticut’s history.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

As Attorney General, I will use the AG’s “bully pulpit” to help the Bridgeport legislative delegation as they work to pass a state education funding strategy that prioritizes Bridgeport, with particular emphasis on universal pre-kindergarten and early childhood education. I will use my legislative experience to roll-up my sleeves and help legislators work through a policy and political problem that has created a funding system that fails to focus enough resources on cities like Bridgeport.

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

Yes, because cities like Bridgeport are the lifeblood and catalyst of the state’s economy and the long-term health and vitality of our communities. The only answer is to put Bridgeport’s kids on a strong foundation of early childhood education and a focus on capable reading and writing skills in the first few grades. This strategy requires resources, teachers and well-resourced classrooms, and creative and appealing programs to engage families and students.

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

Because I am the only candidate for Attorney General who has represented a large city like Bridgeport, and who has experience fighting hard for students and families in need, many of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch. Many students in my home city of Stamford’s come from immigrant families or communities of color, and I have worked side-side-side with Bridgeport’s legislative delegation to push for increased funding for cities like ours.


FaithActs for Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does not endorse any candidate or party. Candidates' views are presented for educational purposes only. Responses were limited to 75 words per question. Aside from editing for length, candidates' responses are presented exactly as submitted.