Republican American: Horn, 64th District candidate, comes to Kent

First appeared in the Republican American on 07/24/2018 here.

BY LYNN MELLIS WORTHINGTON REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

KENT – Democrat Maria Horn has been sharing her message with voters in all of the nine towns in the 64th District, and on Sunday afternoon she was in Kent at the home of Christopher and Karren J. Garrity.

Horn is running against incumbent Brian M. Ohler, R-Canaan, who has completed one two-year term in office. 

Horn, a resident of Salisbury, has been crisscrossing the district to become more well known, since she announced her candidacy for the seat in February. The 64th District includes Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Salisbury, Sharon, Norfolk and parts of Goshen and Torrington.

Maria Horn, who is the Democratic candidate for the 64th District of the state legislature, speaks to a group of 30 people in Kent outside the home of Christopher and Karren Garrity Sunday. Lynn Mellis Worthington Republican-American

Horn has spent much of her time knocking on doors, and she’s found the experience to be very helpful and rewarding.

“The conversation you have with people one-on-one at their doors is very different from the conversation you hear in the media or even in group settings, where people settle into their corners,” Horn said. 

“I have noticed that issues are still primarily local, but national politics has seeped into the conversation. There are a lot of people who feel strongly that health care is being undermined at the federal level and immigration is ripping families apart at the border.”

She said she spoke with a gentleman, a lifelong Republican, who is a personal friend of Ohler, but the immigration issue bothers him so much that he said he couldn’t vote again for a Republican. She said others are uncomfortable with a number of federal issues, including Russian influence, and that is turning people off from the Republican party.

Sunday’s event was also co-hosted by Zanne and Lawrence Charity with Kate and James Vick. As a publicly financed candidate, Horn wasn’t looking for donations at this gathering. She was sharing her thoughts on topics of local interest and sharing her platform. Healthcare, education and jobs are three of her main focuses and she said they are all interrelated.

She was asked about Sharon Hospital’s announcement to close the maternity ward. Horn has asked the attorney general to investigate, and she said that there are key hearings in upcoming months regarding a proposed merger of Health Quest, the owner of Sharon Hospital, to purchase Western Connecticut Health Network, which owns New Milford and Danbury Hospital.

“That merger paperwork has nothing to do with Sharon (maternity), but it is a moment of leverage,” Horn said. “They need to establish they are good partners and they’re going to be taking care of the people in Connecticut and keeping the community interest in mind. We need to demonstrate that we have questions about that.”

Horn said that it’s been indicated to her those hearings are likely to be scheduled in September or October.

She also said that Sharon has not filed with the state Office of Health Care Access yet to close the maternity wing, but that should also result in hearings.

This is the first time Horn has run for state office. Horn’s background includes working as a former federal prosecutor, serving as Assistant Attorney for the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Before that, she was a lawyer in private practice at Debevoise & Plimpton and a law clerk for a federal judge. Before her legal career, she spent four years working in corporate finance at JP Morgan & Co.

Horn also serves on several nonprofit boards, chairing the Indian Mountain School board of trustees and is a board member of the Women’s Support Services. She’s also a member of the Salisbury Board of Finance. She has a JD from the University of Chicago and a BA from Princeton University.

Contact Lynn Mellis Worthington at lynnmellw@gmail.com or on Twitter @lynnmellw.