WATERTOWN — With the dust settled on the primaries from August 14, the state is preparing for the general election.
John Pistone, a plumber from Brookfield, has decided to reject the notions of political parties and will run as an independent conservative for the Fifth Congressional District seat.
Mr. Pistone will battle against Republican Manny Santos and Democrat Jahana Hayes in the November 6 election.
“I consider myself a citizen legislator,” said Mr. Pistone, referring to how he was different from the other candidates, who, he believes, are beholden to party politics and not the wishes of the people.
Mr. Pistone considered running in the Republican primary earlier in the summer and had received 3,750 ballots to be in the primary race. In the end he decided not to participate in the primary, stating that he did not like the party’s inner politics and that he was “too conservative” for the Republican Party.
Mr. Pistone believes in term limits for elected officials. As a sign of his commitment to the idea, he signed a term limit pledge that would limit the number of times he could run for election to three times, which is six years.
“My life is not going to be in Washington,” he commented. If elected, he promises to not follow the whims of Washington, but that of Connecticut.
The opioid crisis was a topic Mr. Pistone wanted to discuss.
“We have got to hold doctors accountable who are over-prescribing opioids,” he said, proposing plans to deal with the mounting crisis.
He believes that a strong border is needed to help stop the drug flow and that distributors, including doctors and pharmaceutical companies, need to be held accountable.
Mr. Pistone expressed his disappointment in politicians for failing to act sooner. “[We need to] put our political differences aside and resolve the opioid crisis.”
Another political issue that Mr. Pistone’s campaign focuses on is immigration.
“I’m for legal immigration,” said Mr. Pistone, but noted he believes that efforts must be put in place to secure the border. He is also against giving illegal immigrants public funds for welfare and scholarships.
Mr. Pistone believes that both political parties need to come together to create a solution for DACA recipients.
The economy is another issue that Mr. Pistone hopes to tackle with his campaign. Lower taxes and job growth are his top priorities for a strong economy.
Mr. Pistone is in favor of a flat tax, which he believes will help the economy flourish by relieving the tax burden on citizens and making it easier for people to fill out their tax forms.
He also believes in the importance of trade schools and the benefit of having a skilled labor force. If elected, he promises to bring more federal funds back into the state to benefit programs that promote technical schools.
Healthcare reform is another campaign issue Mr. Pistone wants to tackle.
“I think that Obamacare is disastercare,” he said, before proposing plans to help keep healthcare costs down.
He wants to allow more competition among health insurance companies to help lower costs. He believes that allowing out-of-state insurance companies easy access into Connecticut will bring prices down as different companies compete for customers.
He also believes that tort law should be reexamined and reformed.
He is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump. “I always was supporting Trump,” he said.
If elected, Mr. Pistone would support the president’s policies, which he believes are a move towards progress.
When asked how he will properly represent the Fifth District, Mr. Pistone reiterated that he is not tied to any political party and will fight for the residents of the Fifth District and not for the values of a single party.
“I’m here to represent the people,” he repeated.
He capped off his interview by saying, “You’re not alone, when you vote for Pistone.”
Mr. Pistone will be on the ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6.
Those seeking additional information on Mr. Pistone’s campaign may visit http://www.johnpistoneforcongress.net/.