"Brian’s heart is enormous and his concern for Connecticut is genuine. He is inherently compassionate but understands that the General Assembly needs to address the very practical concern of Connecticut’s fiscal situation. Brian sees how the twin demons of high taxes and a weak economy are affecting the state: people are leaving Connecticut; businesses threaten to leave or actually leave the state; and the shrinking population is left to foot the bill for social services necessitated by a stagnant economy."
KAREN DIGNACCO - SHARON, CT
As we all continue to navigate the troubled waters of this pandemic it has been truly remarkable to see all of the love and support being shown for our essential workers, first responders, teachers, loved ones, friends, and neighbors. The northwest corner is certainly no exception to that. Just as we’ve done in the past, when times are tough or when the pain seems insurmountable, we all come together and lift each other up. In the months and years ahead it will undoubtedly take a special kind of glue to keep us all going. We will need leaders who truly have a finger on the pulse of their small communities and who understand what residents and businesses need in order to fully recover. With that, it is both my honor and privilege to officially announce my candidacy for State Representative for the 64th House District seat in Connecticut’s General Assembly.
Public service is my passion and my purpose in life, and serving the amazing residents of the 64th House District (2017-2019) has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I feel that because of my unwavering dedication to fiscal accountability and social responsibility, my balanced and equitable approach to legislation, my tireless work ethic, and my steadfast support and advocacy for the residents and businesses in the northwest corner, I am hopeful that I can once again earn your vote on November 3rd.
I believe that I am now in a very unique position, being both a public safety and public health professional, to offer the most assistance and the greatest level of representation to the residents and small businesses of the 64th House District. Over the past three months alone I have assisted hundreds of area residents, school administrators/teachers, small business owners, veterans, chief elected officials, and health care executives with their questions and concerns pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic; ranging from PPE allocation, unemployment assistance, small business relief aid, personal stimulus payments, mental health counseling, K-12 school resources, veteran health benefits, and so much more. The next two years of our lives will undoubtedly be centered on our recovery and our rebuilding. By focusing our efforts on strengthening our public health and public safety sectors, investing in a 21st century infrastructure, one that is finally able to connect us with the rest of the world, securing and sustaining our small businesses, protecting our farming families, building robust educational, agricultural and vocational training facilities, and holding our government leaders accountable for every dollar that is spent and every law that is proposed, I will make sure that we receive the financial and economic support that we deserve, so that we are no longer the forgotten corner.
The 64th House District covers the nine towns of Canaan (Falls Village), Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Goshen and Torrington.
If you would like to join me on this journey, to ensure that our treasured corner of the world and the amazing people and businesses who reside here are properly supported, defended, and protected, I ask that you please consider making a small donation to our campaign by following the link listed below. Please feel free to share, email, or post this link to help us spread this exciting news even further. Thank you all so much for this opportunity and this immense honor to run for State Representative; to be your voice in Hartford.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2020
Contact: Brian M. Ohler, 860-307-1135
National Small Business Organization Backs Ohler
NORTH CANAAN — The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the premier small business organization in Connecticut, has announced its official endorsement of 64th House District State Representative Candidate Brian M. Ohler.
In her letter to Ohler, Elizabeth Parks, Senior Grassroots Manager for NFIB-CT, wrote that the cross-endorsed Republican/Independent candidate, “will be committed to the needs of thousands of Main Street small businesses and their employees in Connecticut.”
NFIB is the leading small-business association in the nation with thousands of members in Connecticut representing a cross-section of the state's economy. For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since their founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today.
“Small businesses will always be the most reliable engine for restarting and maintaining our state’s economy. Supporting legislation that improves their ability to thrive, while also opposing laws and mandates that stifle their growth, is crucial if we’re going to do our part to help get our state’s economy back on track,” said Ohler, who is seeking to retake the seat that he narrowly lost to Rep. Maria Horn(D) in 2018. Rep. Horn’s two-year record in the legislature has proven to be very unfriendly to small businesses in Connecticut; receiving a failing 50% rating from NFIB and an abysmal 22% rating from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association; which is the lowest score for any legislator in Connecticut’s House of Representatives. “I’m truly honored and humbled that NFIB considers me a leader who can help make Connecticut a more business-friendly state. 2020 has proven to be a year that has seen many of our local small businesses close, and others that are on the verge of closure. I am tired of seeing the revolving door of multi-billion dollar corporations getting bailed out whenever they cry to the Governor, yet our small businesses continue to get nothing to help ease their own unique burdens. I will be the fighting voice for small business, and their champion.”
Brian is a highly decorated U.S. Army combat wounded veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the former State Representative of the 64th House District and former President of Patriot Safety Group LLC, a safety and security consulting firm based in North Canaan. He is currently the Associate Director of Safety and Engineering at the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington. Brian has also been a volunteer first responder for the past twenty years, serving as a Firefighter, EMT, and Chaplain in his hometown of North Canaan.
The 64th House District includes the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and Torrington.
Connecticut’s Top Police Organizations Endorse Brian Ohler For State Representative; Back His Vision for Public Safety
NORTH CANAAN — In a clear and bold statement the Connecticut State Police Union, the Police Officers Association of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Fraternal Order of Police have unanimously announced their full support and endorsement of Brian Ohler’s candidacy for 64th House District State Representative. Ohler is seeking to once again represent the 64th House District in Hartford. He held the seat from 2016-2018.
In his letter to Ohler, John Castilne, President of the Connecticut State Police Union, wrote that the cross-endorsed Republican/Independent candidate, “was one of the few candidates to receive our official endorsement this year. This endorsement comes as a result of your support for public safety and the issues our union has faced in the past. Your commitment to public safety and Trooper safety is appreciated by the entire Union membership.”
The Police Officers Association of Connecticut has also once again endorsed Brian Ohler. The organization represents nearly 2,000 sworn police officers across Connecticut. The endorsement is based upon Ohler’s support and leadership on issues that are important to police officers and their families, including his commitment to public safety and the fair working conditions and benefits for the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting all Connecticut residents.
Sgt. John Krupinsky, President of the Connecticut Fraternal Order of Police, stated that, “there is no question in our mind that you will support law enforcement and keep the people of your district safe at a time when law and order has never been so important. I urge all citizens living in the 64th House District to join us in voting for you, to keep you communities safe.”
In response to these endorsements Brian Ohler said, “having been a public safety and public health professional for the past twenty years, having served as a Military Police Officer for 12 years, as well as being a volunteer Firefighter and EMT, I have had the honor and pleasure of working with some of the most dedicated and selfless Police Officers and State Troopers that I’ve ever come to know. Unfortunately, here in Connecticut and in our Country there are elected officials who relish the chance to tarnish the credibility and reputation of law enforcement, and the countless heroic acts they perform on a daily basis; choosing instead to target and crucify an entire profession instead of the actions of a few.”
Ohler is seeking to retake the seat that he narrowly lost to Rep. Maria Horn (D) in 2018. Rep. Horn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, co-authored the now infamous Police Accountability Bill, which has now begun to decimate the already thinning ranks of the Connecticut State Police and our local police departments.
Ohler went on to say that, “in my professional life and as a legislator I have a proven record of working with area leaders, police departments, fire departments, EMS squads, and numerous schools and non-profit organizations, helping all of them achieve their safety and security goals; fostering a working relationship that has kept our communities better prepared for 21st Century threats. From car break ins, to burglaries at our homes and work, to vehicle thefts, to the rampant speeding on our local roads, to the boom of drug sales in our neighborhoods and near our schools, to the perpetual cycle of heroin related overdoses, we need to support our law enforcement officers now more than ever before. It is worth noting that at any given time, there is only a minimum of four Troopers patrolling the 500 square miles of Troop B’s coverage area. Never before has the safety of our local communities been more at risk. We need more police officers and more State Troopers. The threats that we face today, the threats that our families face, that our children face, are far more capable and harrowing than in years past. I also fully support having School Resource Officers reinstated at our local schools, as well as having each of our small towns supported by a Resident State Trooper, or Community Policing Officer. We must not look at our police officers as villains. They are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. They have all sworn to protect us.”
Brian Ohler is a highly decorated U.S. Army combat wounded veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the former State Representative of the 64th House District and former President of Patriot Safety Group LLC, a safety and security consulting firm based in North Canaan. He is currently the Associate Director of Safety and Engineering at the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington. Brian has also been a volunteer first responder for the past twenty years, serving as a Firefighter, EMT, and Chaplain in his hometown of North Canaan.
The 64th House District includes the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and Torrington.
THE ISSUES WE FACE
As a former member of the Appropriations Committee I had a front row seat to budget negotiations, dedicated to fiscal accountability and social responsibility. I was one of only a handful of freshman legislators who were able to secure a seat on this coveted committee. Connecticut has faced years of financial instability and burdensome tax increases. When I was in Hartford, I ask the tough questions and I held people accountable; refusing to be just another rubber stamp. We need to focus our attention on the careless spending that has been so commonplace in state government for far too long. I am confident that if we can focus our attention on creating and passing a budget that is sustainable and affordable, one that holds the line on frivolous spending, then we can begin to pay down our outstanding debts and pension obligations. If we can prove to investors (new families and businesses) that we are a state that is steered by leaders who believe in true fiscal accountability, and who have made the necessary structural changes with regard to pension reform and public spending, then I am confident that you will see the outward migration slow and eventually reverse course. We need to fight for a future that we can afford.
I am dedicated to protecting every man, woman, and child who calls Connecticut their home. I've spent all of my adult life serving as a volunteer firefighter and an EMT. I also served twelve years as a U.S. Army soldier, including two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Since my military enlistment ended in 2013, I've remained committed to public safety and emergency management, performing risk assessments and security assessment at numerous area schools and hospitals, and countless commercial establishments. I also had the honor being co-chair the Fire/EMS Caucus in Hartford, working hard to defend the rights and policies that our brave First Responders deserve. I also led an initiative to form the School Safety Legislative Working Group. This group is focused on creating policies and guidelines that ensure our schools are best prepared for 21st Century threats. The Northwest Corner is not immune to car break-ins, theft, drug sales, domestic violence, and cyber crime. I am keenly aware of these threats and I also know just how perilous our situation is with low staffing numbers at our area state police barracks and city police departments. We must be doing everything that we can to support our law enforcement officers, as well as ensuring that they have the necessary tools to counter the crime that is occurring daily throughout the Northwest Corner.
As a former member of the Human Services Committee, and a current employee of Hartford Healthcare and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital I am dedicated to social responsibility and keenly aware of the many public health challenges that exist today. The overall health, welfare, and education of our friends, families, and neighbors is paramount for our survival. Since January, my fellow colleagues and I have been firmly planted on the front lines, battling coronavirus from every possibly angle and treating hundreds of Northwest Corner residents. Over the past seven months I have consulted with countless businesses, schools, hospitals, and families about how does life for them go on in a world with coronavirus. This has been a gargantuan task, but together we've overcome so much and together we will beat this virus and begin restoring some kind of normalcy back into our lives. I have fought hard to ensure that tuitions at our state universities and community colleges remain affordable. I continue to challenge University administrators who choose to dramatically increase the salaries and bonuses of their Professors which in return only raises our children's tuition rates. I have maintained a close relationship with the amazing counselors and advocates at Susan B. Anthony Project and Women's Support Services. Together, we were able to reform Connecticut's antiquated Dual Arrest laws and ensure that victims are empowered and confident enough to call for help without the worry of being wrongfully accused and/or arrested. I will continue to fight to eliminate Connecticut's Statute of Limitations. Victims should be able to come forward and speak out about their abuse and assault at a time when they feel comfortable and empowered enough to do so. I realize investigations are harder to conduct as more time passes by but I feel the current Statutes do not allow enough time.
As a former member of the Rural Caucus and member of numerous local non-profits I am dedicated to improving our antiquated infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and bridges, and bringing 21st Century technology into our homes and businesses. I am working diligently to enhance our cell phone coverage in the Northwest Corner. In the year 2020 there is simply no excuse for 'dead zones' and I continue to fight for broader coverage and increased Wi-Fi bandwidth. Fiber Optic technology is an expensive but necessary resource if we want to connect our homes and businesses with the speed and quality that is needed to operate a modern-day business. These investments must be strategically planned and phased-in over time. I am also seeking the necessary funds to replace the railroad infrastructure that is needed to accommodate passenger train service in the Northwest Corner. The current rail system is over 120 years old and is in dire need of replacement. If this upgrade is done properly, with a welded a rail system, there is an increasing chance that limited passenger train service could once again bring travelers and new revenue to our area. Our younger generation is always looking for new and exciting adventures to embark on and tourists of all ages have consistently chosen rail travel when planning their day-long or weekend trips. During Tropical Isaias I was asked by many Chief Elected Officials, business owners, and families, for assistance with getting their power restored and with navigating the daunting world of insurance claims. I have over 20 years experience in Emergency Management and Public Safety, and I so when people need me to act, I do so, and I get the results they want, fast. None of that matters, however, if you don't follow through on holding utility companies accountable for their shortcomings. That is what I am doing and that is what I will continue to do. There are legislators out there who think that their title alone will simply impress others and force them into action, but that's not the case. Working relationships and years of boots on the ground experience is what gets results and ultimately keeps people safe, secure, and with power!
As a former member of the Conservation and Development Subcommittee I am constantly advocating to protect our environment and preserve our Open Space. I am proud to have supported the preservation of hundreds of acres of Open Space in Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Salisbury, and Sharon. I am keenly aware of just how precious our environment is. As a proponent and advocate of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals I educate my colleagues and various municipal leaders as to the delicate balance between man, machine, and Mother Earth. We must be doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint, monitor our current air and water levels, and lead the way towards sustainable renewable energy, further reducing our dependence on carbon-based fuels.