The 18th Senatorial District, which includes most of Milford, has a Republican primary that will occur on Tuesday, September 11 between incumbent F. Gary Simpson and challenger Matthew Opaliski. The winner of the primary will face no Democratic challenger in November and will be elected as the 18th District Senator in the State of Delaware. Milford LIVE asked both Simpson and Opaliski a series of questions that introduces them to our readers and explains their intentions of becoming State Senator representing the Milford area in 2013. Voting for the Republican Primary in the state of Delaware will occur on Tuesday, September 11. Polls open from 7 am to 8 pm and only registered voters from participating parties may vote. To view where voting will take place for specific individuals visit http://pollingplace.delaware.gov/.
Matthew Opaliski of Greenwood, 38 years old, is married to Ivy Opaliski (18 years) with four children, Devin (17), Nathaniel (15), Alexandra (12) And Chandler (8). Opaliski is currently employed by JC Ehrlich Co in Bridgeville as a Service Technician. Previously serving as an Election District Committee Person in the 35th Representative District, Opaliski is currently serving as Chair of the 35th Representative District for the Republican Party.
Why are you running for the 18th Senatorial District?
I’m running for the State Senate because I believe that I can and that I will leave a positive and lasting impact on the State of Delaware by taking on an active role, call it an aggressive role in the legislative process as opposed to the passive role that the current incumbent takes. The go along to get along mentality, the passive approach that has filled much of Leg Hall for too long is what has allowed the other side’s agenda, the liberal agenda to advance. As a political activist I have championed the preservation of rights and argued for less government, as a candidate for State Senate I remain steadfast to those ideals and as an elected official that voice, the people’s voice, would multiply exponentially. I’m offering the voters of the 18th Senate District a clear choice in this upcoming Republican primary. I’m more than willing to take the tough stand against and work hard to defeat the majority of what I’d call liberal garbage coming out of Dover. I’m more than willing to plant the conservative flag right in the faces of the other members of the Chamber and dare them to stop me. Someone has to stand against the tide and the evidence suggests that the incumbent can’t do it or won’t do it.
What personal or professional background will be critical to performing the duties of State Senator?
On a professional level I work with the public now on a daily basis and have for years in my employment JC Ehrlich, Co. So working with people, talking to folks in an attempt to resolve problems is something that I have extensive experience with, that experience will lend itself well to addressing constituent services. In addition, I’ve been involved politically since the 1990’s in some capacity or another with the Republican Party whether it was serving as an Election District Committee Person or currently, I’m serving as the Representative District Chair in the 35th District.
Name a specific example of something the State Senate has done to improve the quality of life for citizens in Delaware.
I follow the legislature closely, I read all of the Bills that get introduced and given the recent collective actions of State Senate and the legislature as a whole, the best thing they have done recently is to adjourn. They can’t do any more damage while they’re not is session.
Name a specific example of something you would like to change in your first term if you are elected to the 18th District Senate Seat.
I would like to see and I would work tirelessly toward repealing business killing regulations such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known commonly as RGGI, this is Delaware’s version of a Cap and Trade program, something that failed in Congress. Delaware joined several other States in this nonsensical regulatory program in 2008 with the help of Sen. Gary Simpson, he sponsored the legislation (SB 263) and voted to pass it yet he’d have you believe he’s for less Government, lower taxes and that he’s pro-business ? He’s not. The RGGI program is nothing more than a tax on electricity, that’s why New Jersey pulled out of the program in 2011 when Governor Chris Christie called the RGGI a ‘failure’, and claimed it is ‘not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future.’ He described the RGGI as ‘nothing more than a tax on electricity, a tax on our residents and on businesses with no discernible effect on our environment.’ This legislation needs to be repealed and I’ll be hard at working on just that.
What issues do you feel are important to the citizens of Milford, Delaware in particular?
As I’ve been campaigning throughout the District, and specifically the Milford area the concerns are similar. The state of the economy and jobs are a huge concern on the minds of voters. Tied to those two issues although not always specifically mentioned is economic development, it’s expressed as a lack of new employment opportunities or business expansion, and in some cases it’s expressed as businesses closing or cutting back but the underlying tone is the same, we need more jobs and job growth. Public Safety is also an important concern, with the recent rise in violent crimes including home invasions to the prevalence of drugs in some areas.
How will you offer help to the City of Milford’s focus on economic development?
Thankfully we’re not in the dire position that some States are in but we need to bolster the Delaware economy, including the City of Milford as opposed to simply maintaining the status quo. We can expand the number of businesses that want to do business in Delaware by looking at new, innovative and cutting-edge technologies and then, create the atmosphere where such industries can thrive because short of picking the winners and losers through the use of subsidies handed out by the Delaware Economic Development Office that’s about all that Government can do with regard to creating private sector jobs, the State can get the hell out of the way and let businesses do what they went into business to do in the first place, prosper. By supporting policies that seek to unleash individual and corporate potential we can attract new businesses and let them work for us as employers, thus furthering economic growth. This is as true in the City of Milford as it is in the surrounding areas and throughout the State of Delaware.
If elected to office in November, how will you help small business owners in your district?
Once I’m elected I’ll be working toward bolstering the Delaware economy by trying to cut back on taxes and fees, this puts more money in the hands of the people that drive the economy, the consumers. This same principle applies to small businesses which are Delaware’s backbone, whether it’s a small retail establishment, a restaurant, a company that provides services or a family farm, collectively they’re our other important economic drivers. We cannot continue to hammer away at businesses with bureaucratic nonsense and regulations written by someone with no experience in the field and expect those businesses to flourish. Cut the taxes, fees and the regulations that strangle businesses and they’ll thrive, they’ll expand, they’ll hire more people and that grows the tax base.
Why should voters choose you over your opponent on Tuesday, September 11, 2012?
In the Republican Primary on September, 11th voters have the opportunity to choose between two distinct political philosophies. The incumbent, who as evidenced by his record of voting for taxes to be raised or implemented and more government regulation at every turn is by no means a conservative despite what he may tell you in some political mailings at election time and myself, someone that is willing to stand up against an overbearing legislature, someone that’s willing to fight back against the rising tide of the liberal agenda. Electing the same politicians time and time again just isn’t netting the results or the representation that we as Delawareans deserve. It’s time to break the status quo because Delawareans should demand and expect nothing less than leaders with positive energy, bold new ideas and unrestrained hope. Leaders that are unwavering in the face of criticism, steadfast when confronted with adversity, and committed to building a better State for the sake of everyone, but while sacrificing no one. I fully accept these demands and as your State Senator I will work hard to see that they are met. A vote for me in the September 11th Primary is a vote for cutting the size and the cost of a wasteful and bloated State Government, a vote for common sense legislating — I won’t sponsor or vote on things I haven’t read, a vote for rolling back regulations that allow bureaucrats to stand in the way of business, a vote for getting tough on crime including repeat offenders and on Illegal Immigration, a vote for protection of both personal and property rights in this era of an overbearing legislature and a vote to
oppose tax and fee increases for Delawareans because frankly we’ve had enough.