Republican nominee for governor Bob Stefanowski made his first visit to a home with a crumbling foundation Wednesday.
Stefanowski admitted the issue had not been on his radar up until he decided to run for governor last year.
"I wasn't personally aware of it before I started running for governor,” Stefanowski said. “There wasn't in that part of the state a lot of press around it."
The Madison businessman traveled to the home Willington home of Tim Heim, one of the most outspoken and politically active homeowners from Eastern Connecticut with a home with a crumbling foundation.
Stefanowski made his visit to Heim’s home after the GOP primary, even as his primary rival David Stemerman made a visit in the weeks before the August 14 election.
Ned Lamont, the Democratic nominee for governor, made a visit to Heim’s home back in January, roughly four months before he won the party’s endorsement.
Stefanowski, who spent his career in business with large corporations like General Electric and UBS, proposed going back to the federal government for assistance in paying for repairs and new foundations for impacted homeowners.
The presidential administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump have, so far, denied the state federal funds, saying the issue did not rise to the level of a full-fledged natural disaster.
Brushing off that fact, Stefanowski said the state should try again.
"I do think if we had better relations with Washington and the state of Connecticut, we might be better prepared to get funding,” he said. “I think we need more testing. Maybe there is something we can do on foundations that have this mineral that haven't started to crack yet."
Heim, who has testified at the State Capitol and kept the issue top of mind for Eastern Connecticut lawmakers, said he is simply happy to have the issue take up some time on the campaign trail. He hopes whoever wins the governor’s race takes the issue seriously when they take office.
"Anybody can say anything in front of a camera,” Heim said. “It's what happens when the camera is off and it's the follow through."
Lamont’s campaign provided a statement on his strategy for addressing crumbling foundations, saying, “As Governor, I will bring everyone to the table to make sure we address this solution for families that are struggling now and to make sure this never happens again.”
He went on to add, “I will convene homeowners, banks, insurers, and representatives from the local, state and federal levels to address the crisis, support homeowners, provide property tax relief, and prohibit affected concrete from being recycled into new foundations."