Bob is a fifth generation Norwalk resident. He is seeking his seventh two-year term representing the people of Norwalk and Darien in the 25th Senatorial District. Previous to this, Bob served one term in the Connecticut House.
Soon after his re-election in 2014, Bob was voted by his peers to be Senate Majority Leader. He also serves as Chair of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Vice-Chair of the Legislative Management Committee.
Where It All Began
Bob’s interest in public service began at an early age, around the family dinner table. It was there that Bob’s parents instilled in their children a sense of civic pride and duty.
It wasn’t long before Bob began sending letters to the Norwalk mayors, voicing his concerns about the issues of the day. More importantly, he discovered that elected officials are very interested in what their constituents have to say. It was these positive responses that set Bob on a course toward public service. He was 8-years-old at the time.
The College Years
After attending Norwalk Public Schools, Bob earned a degree in political science at Lynchburg College. His passion for public service grew, serving as student senator, campus leader and intern for then U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd.
Bob returned to Lynchburg College to deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2010. During the ceremonies, Bob was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from his alma mater.
Back In Connecticut
Fresh out of college, Bob chose to become a full-time substitute teacher in the Norwalk Public Schools from 1993 to 1995. From there he chose to be a real estate professional at the Norwalk offices of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. He’s been there, helping people buy and sell property, for 21 years.
Bob has always been a champion for quality education and serving as a teacher gave him valuable insights few legislators are privy to. The same can be said of his work in real estate. As an independent agent, Bob runs his own small business and has backed measures in the legislature that make it easier to start and run a business in Connecticut.
As Your State Senator
Never forgetting the relationships he had with civic leaders as an 8-year-old, Bob has always made himself accessible to the people he serves. He openly publishes his home phone number, holds regular office hours in town and encourages everyone to introduce themselves to him at public events.
Up in Hartford, it’s all business. Believing in sound money management, Bob championed Results-based Accountability – a system that monitors the effectiveness of government programs and quickly eliminates the money wasters. Bob has saved taxpayers millions of dollars and his work has been so effective, others states have copied his model.
Tireless Advocate for Job Creation
To help Connecticut recover from the Great Recession, Bob rallied support for a job creation bill back in 2011. Almost immediately, small businesses were able to tap into a source of loans and grants that enabled them to grow out of the recession.
This legislation also offered wage and training subsidies, encouraging businesses to hire the unemployed. The program was so successful it was expanded the following year.
Saving Home Owners from Foreclosure
In 2008, at the height of the Great Recession, predatory lenders were quick to foreclose on homeowners struggling to pay their bills. As Chair of the General Assembly’s Banks Committee, Bob stepped in with a foreclosure mediation program that quickly prevented over 3000 Connecticut residents from losing their homes.
He also created the Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program, which helps borrowers increase their job skills to boost their income and become more financially stable.
Planning for the Future
As Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, Bob championed a comprehensive energy strategy to provide cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy for consumers and businesses.
He’s also been very successful at securing funding for a reliable and efficient transportation system – one that addresses the needs of all commuters, whether they take the train, ride the bus, walk or bike it.
Today, Norwalk and Darien commuters are enjoying the comfort and safety of new railcars, drivers can now enter and exit I-95 in Norwalk with greater ease and the entire Northeast Corridor will benefit from a new railroad bridge over the Norwalk River.
Bob is working to eliminate urban blight and convert abandoned industrial space into affordable housing and neighborhood retail space. Both can return a sense of community to our cities. This “change of scenery” is now underway at Wall Street Place, 2 Merritt Street and the Globe Theater. A new program encourages Metro North commuters to move closer to the SONO station.
Building Global Relations
In 2015 Bob lead a bipartisan delegation of legislators representing five U.S. states in meetings with business leaders and government officials in three Chinese cities.
Bob’s goal was to open direct lines of communication and establish relationships for future business growth. Economic development and urban renewal were both hot topics during the 10-day visit.
Stopping the Rip Offs
Questionable marketing and billing practices by some electric service suppliers lead to the creation of an “Electric Consumers’ Bill of Rights.” Residential users now receive information and bills that are easy to understand and easy to compare with competing electric suppliers.
Answering the Call for Help
Not everything Bob does is related to the creation and passage of major legislation. Sometimes it’s a constituent who’s having trouble dealing with a state agency. Or a neighborhood concerned about cars speeding down their street.
In every instance, Bob and his team of legislative assistants will investigate and take action to solve the problem. It’s this kind of thoughtful concern backed Bob’s “do the right thing” attitude that have won the hearts of the people in Norwalk and Darien.
Recognition and Awards
Along with the many thank-yous, hugs, and kisses Bob receives for his service to the community, Bob has been recognized by many civic, cultural and business organizations for his work in the legislature, among them:
• Community Action Senate Leader of the Year
• Outstanding Elected Official
• Legislator of the Year
• Humanitarian of the Year
• Children’s Champion
• Family Legislator of the Year
• Friend of the Restaurant Industry
• Outstanding Elected Official of the Year
• Clean Energy Champion
Bob almost always scores a perfect “100” by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.
As a freshman senator, Bob was one of only 35 legislators nationwide accepted into the prestigious Fleming Leadership Institute. Two years later, Bob was chosen to participate in the Emerging Leaders’ Conference, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. He was one of only two state legislators so honored.
In 2012, Bob was selected as one of fifteen rising leaders to join the NewDEAL, a pro-growth national network committed to highlighting innovative ideas from state and local elected leaders.