Danbury, Conn. (Citizen News) – Over 50 people gathered in the foyer at the Danbury City Hall last Wednesday afternoon to witness and show support at Clay Cope’s first official press conference, which put his campaign to run for Congress in the 5th District into high gear. In attendance were several high-profile Connecticut Republicans along with many other supporters from around the State. This 15-minute press conference was anything but ordinary and marked key defining moments for Mr. Cope.
Host and spokesperson, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, set the upbeat tone and said “so, we’re lucky, here in Connecticut, particularly in the 5th District, we’ve got a candidate early, we’ve got a candidate that understands the issues that face the working men and women of this District, and we’ve got a candidate that understands the challenges that will be facing the United States of America over the next two years. And we’re very excited and honored for all of us to be here today.”
First Selectwoman Susan Chapman of New Fairfield then publicly voiced her support and said, “I know Clay to be just hardworking, dedicated, and compassionate. He loves his town. He works really hard for his town. All of these qualities will make him perfect for the 5th District. He’ll bring that same level of dedication, compassion, and hard work to the 5th District that he does to Sherman.”
Connecticut State Representative Arthur O’Neill spoke next. He stated, “it is with great pleasure that I stand here today before you to endorse Clay Cope at the beginning of his campaign. Clay represents something that I think Washington needs… Someone who has lived the life in the small towns of this community and in the State of Connecticut. And also someone who has lived as we live” and “lives like the people in the 5th Congressional District.” He thinks that Mr. Cope’s “outsider’s understanding” and “knowledge of the local government” make him the ideal candidate.
Former Congressional Candidate Mark Greenberg, who ran for Congress three times and narrowly lost to Representative Elizabeth Esty in the 2014 Election, was the fourth supporter to speak and officially endorse Mr. Cope. He believes that Mr. Cope has the “persistence, personality, interest, and desire,” to win the 5th Congressional District’s seat. Mr. Greenberg also said he will personally help him to “catch the four points” that he couldn’t get when he ran against Mrs. Esty.
Mayor Boughton formally introduced Mr. Cope to supporters then Mr. Cope took to the podium. He shared with his supporters why he’s running and what some of his key agenda items are going to be, which will define his campaign. He said the main reason for running is because he firmly believes that what is “missing from our representative in Congress” is the commitment to work on and improve the things that are important to the people Mrs. Esty represents.
Mr. Cope said, “people in the 5th District deserve the opportunity for prosperity in their personal lives and the guarantee of security for their families. He continued to say, “Our friends and neighbors want and deserve access to more and better paying jobs and to a strong economy that is bolstered by vibrant, vital, and growing businesses in a healthy private sector. That is why we are Republicans. They deserve a lower tax burden and lower federal spending and a balanced federal budget.”
He also discussed some hot topics across the Nation and how they are very real concerns for many of the people in the 5th District that he has spoken with. They, too, want to see meaningful immigration reform and effective border security.
At the end of this press conference it was clear that Mr. Cope received four big endorsements that were publicly announced by a mayor, a first selectwoman, a state representative, and a former congressional candidate. These supporters, along with all other supporters who attended, give him credibility at the start of his campaign.
From the “hometown”, here’s what some Sherman residents who attended the press conference had to say regarding Mr. Cope’s candidacy…
“It is difficult to put into words the sense of pride and excitement I felt while attending the formal announcement of Sherman’s own First Selectman Clay Cope and his decision to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th District. Having known Clay for the past 16 years and having observed his enthusiasm and success in every task he has undertaken, he has my wholehearted support. With his involvement and success in government at the local level, he will bring a unique perspective to the Congress. He understands the needs and concerns of the residents here in Connecticut. In his years as First Selectman, I have never observed Clay make a decision on the basis of political expediency or correctness. His leadership is based on a concern for what is right for the citizens of Sherman. When elected, I am sure he will bring this same refreshing attitude to the role of a Congressman.” – Art von Plachecki, Former First Selectman of Sherman
“For as long as I have known Clay he has been serving the community of Sherman. As a volunteer on various boards and committees and as First Selectman, he has always worked hard, maintained open communication and had a desire to be of service. He takes his service seriously. His run for Congress is a call for service that he has said ‘yes’ to and I support his decision.” – Jeannene Burruano, Sherman resident
“Clay Cope has been a positive light in Sherman, and Congress will be fortunate to have him represent the 5th Congressional District. He is a good, caring person that truly makes a difference in Sherman and will do the same for other towns in Connecticut.” – Angela LeClerc, Sherman Resident
Article and photos by Alicia Sakal. Written for Citizen News, a weekly newspaper serving Sherman and New Fairfield, Connecticut.