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February 20, 2023 / 2023 Power 50

2023 Power 50: 12. Vincent J. Candelora & Kevin Kelly

YEHYUN KIM / CTMIRROR.ORG Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford.

Rep. Vincent J. Candelora and Sen. Kevin Kelly are the top-elected Republicans in Connecticut and face an uphill battle dealing with a governorship, House and Senate all controlled by Democrats.

Connecticut Republicans failed to make gains during last November’s elections, but that doesn't mean they aren't having any influence. 

When Gov. Ned Lamont announced plans to cut the income tax this year for middle-class earners, Candelora was quick to point out the proposal mirrored a GOP plan put forward last year. 

In June, Republican state lawmakers — led by Candelora, the House Republican leader, and Kelly, Senate Republican leader — pitched a $746-million tax cut that proposed to reduce the income tax from 5% to 4% for individuals earning less than $75,000 and joint filers earning less than $175,000 annually.

The GOP leaders also are exploring options for sales tax relief, including repeal of a 1% surcharge on restaurant meals added in 2019.

Vincent Candelora

Another top issue for Candelora and Kelly in 2023 is energy affordability. In January, they unveiled energy reforms that aim to control ratepayer costs. 

The proposal included moving charges resulting from public policy decisions from ratepayer bills to the state budget; adding nuclear and all sources of hydro power to the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard program; and restoring independence to utility rate regulators by separating the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, among other measures.
Outside the legislature, Candelora, who lives in North Branford, helps run two family-owned businesses — a manufacturing company and sportsplex.
Kelly is an elder law attorney and owner of Kevin Kelly & Associates PC, a law firm based in Stratford, where he also lives.

Find out who else is in the 2023 Power 50.

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