Last summer, we encouraged Connecticut voters to cut through the noise of the presidential race and not lose sight of the state legislative contests.

We reminded them that the decisions made at the State Capitol typically have more of an impact on their daily lives than what happens in Washington, and we urged them to support candidates—regardless of party affiliation—who are serious about making Connecticut a top state for economic growth and job creation.

Fix Connecticut campaign
The Fix Connecticut campaign included digital advertising, direct mail, and grassroots activities in key state House and Senate districts.

To more effectively get this message across, we launched the Fix Connecticut campaign, which included making independent expenditures in four state Senate and 10 House races to finance digital advertising, direct mail, and grassroots activities in those districts.

Throughout the effort, we kept our messaging positive, factual, ethical, and educational, taking care to avoid the attack ads and negativity so typical in political advertising today.

The results on Election Day were overwhelmingly positive.

Of the four Senate candidates we supported with independent expenditures, three were victorious; in the House, eight of 10 were elected.

In total, of the 107 Democrat and Republican Senate and House candidates CBIA endorsed, 100 won seats in Hartford.

Although many factors had a role in determining the election outcome, I believe CBIA’s Fix Connecticut campaign made a difference.

In the days after the election, however, some people made public statements attributing our success simply to the money we spent. They couldn’t be more wrong.

What the election showed was that Connecticut voters responded to a positive message about the unlimited potential of our state to have a more vibrant, growing economy with more and better job opportunities.

State legislators should understand that the election outcome was about restoring economic competitiveness and jobs.
Those voters who were influenced by our efforts responded in a thoughtful way to a message that resonated with them, not to the money that was allocated to delivering that message.

Going forward, we hope legislators recognize that the state election results were about restoring economic competitiveness and jobs to our state, not about how much money was spent.

I want to express my deep gratitude to so many of our members who took the time during the elections to invite candidates to their companies, speak to the media, and talk with their employees about the critical issues facing our state.

Without your help, we could not have succeeded.

And my thanks to the thousands of voters in key legislative districts who listened to our message and took it to heart on November 8.

As we approach the 2017 General Assembly session, I’m confident state lawmakers will work together in a spirit of bipartisanship to help move Connecticut toward a brighter economic future.


Joe Brennan is the president and CEO of CBIA.