I couldn't be more excited and proud.
The Hamden Daily News (online) reported this today:
David Aron doesn’t let the stats get in his way. Such as he’s one of about 4,000 registered Republicans in Hamden versus about 14,000 Democrats. Such as he just moved to town about 18 months ago and is not very well known. Such as he’s just 24 and has never run for local or any office, before.I hope that you'll join me in supporting David's campaign. He'd be a tremendous asset to the CT legislature and will do a wonderful job representing Hamden.
No, Aron, a home-schooled Jewish boy from West Hartford, said he intends to steal the 91st House District seat from eight-term Democratic state Rep. Peter Villano this November, regardless. Villano could not be reached for comment but is expected to run again this year.
“This is a campaign about ideas and what is the best representation for Hamden,” said Aron, a traffic analyst for Wilbur Smith Associates in downtown New Haven. “It’s not about Republican or Democrat. It’s about who has the best ideas.” He was elected to the Hamden Republican Town Committee in January.
Reforming public-education funding is at the top of the hopeful’s to-do-in-Hartford list. He talked about finding alternative funding sources and creating more state charter schools, which are less costly to run than their mainstream counterparts.
The spiciest piece of Aron’s education funding reform plan is allowing high-achieving students to graduate a year early.
“That could save the town millions. What I would propose is giving them [early grads] a $5,000 scholarship to attend a Connecticut college,” he said. The town and state would split the bill.
The millions in savings for Hamden (and the other 168) are realized, he said, by graduating the top 15 percent of the class after their junior year. It costs roughly $11,000 a year to teach a Hamden student.
Like a good Republican, Aron said he’d also campaign on lowering taxes.
“One thing I’m going to do is go through the state budget and look at programs that can be funded with user fees,” said the candidate, who filed his registration papers with the State Election Enforcement Commission yesterday. “Or if [programs are] not working we can eliminate or merge them. It’s one thing to say lower taxes. We need to look at what we can cut.”
He described an intellectually stimulating childhood with “opinionated” Republican parents always on the pulse of things.
“My family was always talking about what was going on,” said Aron. “We’re very opinionated. I’d almost say we’re Republican Libertarians. We believe in individual freedom and that government should be small. I have mixed feelings about Bush.”
His parents pulled him out of public school after seventh grade and brought him home to learn, straight through 12th grade. Aron said public school wasn't academically challenging and his parents couldn’t afford private school.
“There was a lot of time wasted in the class on discipline,” he said.
Actually, Aron said he taught himself. His parents gave him books and he read. When he reached high-school age, he said he took classes at the University of Hartford and Trinity College. During this time, he got his first real taste of politics as a legislative aide to former Republican state Rep. Bob Farr of West Hartford.
Aron went to Boston University where he scored a degree in political science. Fresh out of college, he was hired as a traffic analyst in Cape Cod. On Sundays, he moonlighted as a Hebrew school teacher at Cape Cod Synagogue.
About a year and a half ago, Aron moved into the Madison Manor on Hamden’s Dixwell Avenue. He’s single. He’s young. And he’s hungry.
“This election is going to be won on the ground, door to door and hand to hand,” he said. “I have a lot of energy. I have a lot of drive. I’m committed to this.”