State Senate Debate to be held at E.O.Smith

State Senate candidates of Connecticut’s 35th district, Daniel Champagne and John Perrier are scheduled to debate from 7-8 p.m. on the October 25 in E.O. Smith High School’s auditorium. Admission is open to the public. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

State Senate candidates of Connecticut’s 35th district, Daniel Champagne and John Perrier are scheduled to debate from 7-8 p.m. on the October 25 in E.O. Smith High School’s auditorium. Admission is open to the public.

The event is led by E.O. Smith’s Debate Outreach Committee, comprised of freshman, and according to the committee, they expect to host a large turnout from the community.

E.O. Smith’s hometown of Mansfield, Connecticut belongs to Connecticut’s 19th district. There are 13 towns in the 35th state district, along with Ashford, Coventry, Stafford, Tolland, Vernon, Union, Willington and part of Ellington.

“It is rare that high school students host a state senate debate,” an email from the committee stated. “This will be an overall great event.”

According to his biography, Republican candidate Daniel Champagne, age 49, has served as Mayor in Vernon, Connecticut since 2013. Mayor Champagne received his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut, and has been involved in the town of Vernon’s local politics since 2010.

Champagne’s campaign comes on the heels of Current State Senator, Republican Tony Guglielmo’s decision to forego reelection after working 25 years in State Legislature. Champagne was endorsed by Guglielmo in a press conference on Feb. 16 at Vernon Town Hall.

“He’s a family man, he’s active in his church. He’s been a police officer, so he knows how to listen to people, he’s seen the good side of things and the bad side of things. He’ll bring experience to the state senate that we don’t have now.” Guglielmo said of Champagne.

Champagne’s Democratic opposition, John Perrier, age 48, is a former selectman for the town of Stafford, as well as a Board of Education member.

Perrier is running on a platform of reexamining Connecticut’s approach to the opioid crisis. From an economic standpoint, Perrier looks to support small businesses across Connecticut by removing hindering “regulatory roadblocks,” according to the Journal Inquirer.

Perrier has received endorsement from multiple students within the University of Connecticut student body.

“Perrier is a moderate candidate, and has the ability to appeal to voters on both sides of the aisle. He has done a great job of connecting with students around the state,” first-semester psychology major Annie Bugos said.

Along with his moderation, the environmental concerns of Perrier resonate with UConn students.

“His regard for the environment...and importance of sustainability is vital for the communities in Eastern Connecticut,” first-semester chemistry major Janet Wang said.


Grace Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at grace.burns@uconn.edu.