In a video message to supporters, Bernier said “the American Dream is on hold” because of policies that have expanded government without solving problems. The Republican candidate delivered an optimistic message about the need to “renew America’s greatness” through limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise.
“Prosperity is possible again,” said Bernier. “We can take the American dream off of hold if we use commonsense solutions. Americans can create jobs if the government lets them get to work.”
Bernier’s proposed solutions include new health care reforms, deficit reduction measures, tax reforms, an “all of the above” energy strategy, and a trade policy that finally gets tough with foreign governments who block American-made products. Bernier said Congress must also address the skyrocketing cost of higher education, calling the unaffordable prices morally and economically wrong.
Bernier, 35, pledged to re-energize the state GOP so “Connecticut doesn’t miss another Republican wave.” He promised to run a 41-town strategy to be competitive in the sprawling district, which covers large parts of central and western Connecticut.
The 5th District is considered an “open seat” following incumbent Rep. Chris Murphy’s (D) decision to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman.
Bernier ran for the seat in 2010, finishing second in a three-way Republican primary race. The first-time candidate shocked political insiders by narrowly losing to the party-endorsed candidate, a sitting state senator, despite being outspent two-to-one.
Bernier won 18 of 41 municipalities in the 2010 primary, carrying every town in the Farmington Valley, the City of New Britain and most of Litchfield County, including the cities of Torrington and New Milford. A 3% swing in the vote would have given him an upset win.
Bernier is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and a former department head in the administration of Governor M. Jodi Rell. As the youngest member of Governor Rell’s cabinet, Bernier led the state in successful negotiations with the U.S. Navy to enhance Submarine Base New London and improve its odds of staying open. Bernier also managed Team Connecticut’s successful fight to save the base in 2005.
Bernier has served on three state-wide commissions. Notably, he was Chairman of the Connecticut Military and Defense Advisory Council, an unpaid group of experts committed to helping the state’s workers, veterans and military families.
Known for his commitment to fiscal discipline, Bernier this month was the only member of the Compensation Commission for Elected Officials and Judges to recommend a ten percent pay cut.
Bernier, the oldest of nine children, was raised in Farmington and attended the public schools there. He now lives in Plainville with his wife, Jennie, and seven-month-old daughter, Renée.
Bernier will discuss his announcement today at 3:30 p.m. on WTIC-1080’s “Church and State” program.
To view Bernier's Video Statement please click here.
Excerpts from Bernier’s video statement follow:
“The American dream is on ‘hold’ today. Too many families are falling behind. Too many small businesses are going under. Millions of Americans are paralyzed by uncertainty.
“Despite these challenges, we have a historic opportunity to set a new course, one that could lead us away from danger and toward safer waters. That opportunity comes in the next national election.
“The 2012 election will be about the future of America. It will determine if and how we meet our challenges, and whether we leave our children a better future.
“I am running for Congress because we can fix these problems and we can renew America’s greatness. But to fix things we must elect leaders who stand for limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. We must offer voters solutions based on proven principles and real-life experience…
“I have no illusions about the job in front of us. I know it won’t be easy.
“We will need a winning formula in the 5th District. So today I pledge to you that our campaign will have a 41-town strategy. With your help, we will compete in every area of the district.
“I also promise you that we will re-energize our party so that Connecticut doesn’t miss another Republican wave.
“It is not yet morning in America again. There is much work to be done before the night is over. I hope you will join us.”
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
In a Media release, Justin Bernier today announced his Campaign for the U.S. Congress. Mr. Bernier will be speaking today at 3:30 on WTIC-1080’s “Church and State” program.