George Logan is a former state legislator who represented Ansonia in the Connecticut State Senate from January 2017 through January 2021. Logan lost to his Democratic opponent, now-Senator Jorge Cabrera, by just 77 votes last November.
Logan is now exploring a run for Connecticut’s fifth Congressional seat, currently occupied by Representative Jahana Hayes, a Democrat elected in 2018. Hayes won reelection in 2020 with 55.9 percent of the vote.
Logan currently serves as director of community relations at Aquarion Water Company, where he has worked for nearly 30 years.
What lessons did you learn from your reelection loss in November?
When I ran in my senate district, I knew it would be a challenge. It was considered a Democratic stronghold district for over 20 years, so I went into the campaign with a message that applied to people who were Democrats, Republicans or unaffiliated. I knew that to pull off a victory, it wasn’t going to be a landslide. I gave it my all back in 2016, and won by less than a few percentage points. When I was reelected in 2018, I won by less than 100 votes.
When 2020 rolled around with the changing dynamics of campaign season with the pandemic, absentee ballots cut into my lead in a lot of the towns. It was still another close election, but I came out on the wrong side of that. I couldn’t get out and knock on as many doors as in previous elections. That’s normally a great way of making sure that people know who I am, and reminding folks of what I’d done as far as trying to represent them in Hartford. In normal times, I think I would have fared better, just enough to pull out another victory. But I believe that everything happens for a reason, and perhaps if I had won that election, I might not have been looking towards a run for Congress.
Why are you thinking about running for the fifth Congressional seat?
I’ve been talking to folks in the district for a long time, and I have a lot of touches in the fifth Congressional district, one being that I’m vice president of the board of the Housatonic Valley Association. The fifth is a natural fit due to my roots and family ties, as many of my relatives live in the fifth congressional district. My wife and I are committed to moving into the fifth district whether or not I end up deciding to run.
What district do you live in now?
I currently live in the third district. Connecticut’s a small state, and these political boundaries are artificial, because to me, the Naugatuck Valley is all one big community. I spend as much time in the fifth district as I do in the third, and I’ve certainly spent a lot of time representing towns in the third district as a senator, so it’s a natural fit.
If you’d been in Rep. Hayes’ seat during this past term in Congress, is there anything in particular that you would have handled differently?
Had I been in her shoes, I think I would have been more focused on the concerns of the people in the fifth district rather than people in Washington. Her record has been, I believe, a bit too far left in terms of politics. I think people in the fifth are more conservative-leaning, especially when it comes to fiscal matters. One-size-fits-all policies are breaking the backs of voters and small businesses, and my focus would be on dealing with affordability and inflation. She also went against our own Democratic governor in terms of getting teachers back to work in schools. I would have fought more to get teachers back in classrooms and get kids back to learning, because I don’t want our kids falling behind.
You haven’t officially declared that you’re running. What’s holding you back?
A congressional campaign is very different from a state senate campaign. In my past campaign, I was able to take advantage of the Citizens’ Election Program, which publicly finances candidates for the General Assembly. Should I run for the Congressional seat, there’s no such program. I’m not a wealthy individual by any stretch of the imagination, so the ability to fundraise is critical to having enough resources to mount a successful campaign. The incumbent already has over a million in her campaign coffers. A congressional race would also bring attention to my wife and kids, so I want to make sure everyone understands what’s at stake. I want to make sure I cover all my bases.
What accomplishments from your time in the State Senate are you most proud of?
The Governor talks about the billions of dollars we have in state coffers, but that’s because of policies we passed in Hartford. It’s because back in 2016, we were able to tie the Senate, and were able to pass a spending cap bill, volatility cap bill, and a bonding cap bill, which is what led to the surplus we’re now seeing. Right now, the state government is so far to the left, in terms of Democratic control of the executive and both the House and Senate, as well as the entire congressional delegation. So Connecticut has completely skewed representation.
Other than your political party, what would you bring to the Connecticut congressional delegation that would be different from the state’s current representation?
I come from humble beginnings. I grew up in inner-city New Haven, and I feel an obligation to give back to that community. My grandparents came from Jamaica, and moved to Guatemala, where my parents were born and raised. They came to Connecticut around 30 years old in the mid-1960s, and I was born and raised here. I want to bring those diverse life experiences to representing the people in the fifth district, because that’s something that may not be there with the folks currently representing Connecticut in Congress.
What’s something you appreciate about Rep. Hayes?
I like the fact that she is an educator, and comes from those ranks. There’s also something to admire in the fact that she chose to throw her hat in the ring and run for Congress. The issue is that once you get the job, what are you going to do with that position? I just think I could do a better job, and that it’s time for a new direction as far as Connecticut’s congressional delegation.