Wayne Winsley — the Republican hopeful running for the 3rd Congressional District, which includes East Haven — met about a dozen members of the early Saturday morning.
This November, Winsely, 49, a Brookfield resident, is challenging the 22-year political veteran, Democratic U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
The candidate says he’s confident he’ll capture many votes come November. “I believe I can get three out of every 10 voters to vote for me.”
The political hopeful shared a number of stories that illustrated how he's been spreading his philosophy of change all around Connecticut.
“We have a candidate that can actually win, we have people who are tired of what’s going on and the best example that I can give you is I was standing in front of the Stop & Shop on Whalley Avenue in New Haven,” Winsley said.
He met a woman and said introduced himself as a Republican.
“She physically backed away from me — as if I had the plague and it was catchy.”
But after talking for five minutes, Winsley said, he discovered not only was she a Democrat, “she was a delegate for Rosa DeLauro. After a five-minute conversation, she whispered, ‘I’m going to [vote for you] because nobody deserves to go unopposed. After speaking to you, I can tell you’re intelligent and for whatever reason, you’re heart is in the right place,’” Winsley said.
Twenty-two years, Winsley said, is a career politician, referring to his opposition.
In a conversation with Republican Town Committee vice-chair William Wilson, Winsley offered another story to make his point.
“I talked to a 23-year-old gentleman in Guilford last night, who comes from a family of Democrats. He said, “Wayne, I’ve never known another representative in my life,’” referring to DeLauro's long tenure.
Wilson agreed. “We do need change,” he said. “We need someone who’s going to speak for us, not just for ‘special interests’ and there’s not enough of that going on in Washington.”
Clarifying the need for change, Winsley said DeLauro is operating on a sort of autopilot.
“She is moving on interia right now. She may have started off listening to the people 22 years ago, but now she listens to the people who show up at her policy meetings at her townhouse in Washington. She listens to people who have funneled the $17 million, which is her net worth now. That’s something that the people don’t really know,” Winsley said.
The candidate didn’t miss an opportunity to elaborate about his opponent's scorecard in Washington.
“The current congresswoman loves to talk about how people during this tough time, this recession, people just need a little help. What people don’t know is during this tough time, from 2008 to 2011, during the worst economic time since the Great Depression, Rosa DeLauro’s personal net worth has increased by at least $2 million every year. Because Rosa DeLauro is working very hard for Rosa DeLauro. That money does not come from a congressional salary,” Winsley said.
Already this summer, Winsley has pledged to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. “This will be one of my top priorities,” Winsley said in a June 28 press release. “I was very tempted to title this release 'Death of a Nation,' but the patriotic optimist within me still draws breath despite how belabored those breaths may be.”
He’s had equally as harsh words for DeLauro.
“Incumbent Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro has suggested that the federal government should place a tax on soda pop and other high sugar drinks as way to drive people toward more healthy drink choices, especially those who are currently on food stamps," he said in a July press release.
"Just prior to this latest statement, incumbent DeLauro went on TV to announce that she supported those same drinks being allowed for purchase with food stamps," according to Winsley's website. "Her argument then was that if fruit juice is over $3 a bottle and soda or sugar water is only $1, then a parent with a limited budget is going to fill their child's belly with the soda or sugar water.”
Winsley accused his opponent of flip-flopping positions.
"But now, her attitude is that it is the government’s job to impose a new tax on these drinks to make people on food stamps, as well as everyone else, pay a penalty for what she believes is an improper food choice. … If it weren’t so stupid, it would be hilarious.”
Wayne was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 13, 1963. His early childhood was spent in the Garden Valley Housing Projects and some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, according to his website.
When Wayne was 13, he was placed in an orphanage, the Bessie Benner- Metzenbaum Children’s Center, and later in Boy’s Town. He served in the U.S. Navy, achieving the naval rank of Petty Officer. During his enlistment, Wayne was trained as a jet engine mechanic, military police officer, and special weapons handler.
Winsley's biography says he’s been a private investigator, veteran broadcaster, radio talk show host, president of the Danbury chapter of the NAACP, a published novelist, communications director and spokesman for the gubernatorial campaign of Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and a coalition chairman for the gubernatorial campaign of Candidate Tom Foley, among other positions.
See Winsley's web site here.