With a depth of experience — having served in elected office at both the state and local levels — William Duff is seeking to be the Republican candidate for the 26th District state Senate seat.

In addition to that experience, the Bethel resident is focusing his attention on local control of schools and zoning, and supporting law enforcement.

Duff, who lives in Bethel with his wife, Dasha, has also served on the Public Utilities Commission and as a Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputy. He is a lifelong Republican resident of the district.

He graduated from Sacred Heart University with a degree in political science. After retiring from the IT industry, he has been running his family business in town and serving his community.

He was asked two questions — on his priorities and his experience — and these are his answers.

Will Duff Photo: Contributed Photo / Wilton Bulletin Contributed
Photo: Contributed Photo

Will Duff

Hearst Connecticut: “ What are the three top priorities you’ d take into the state Senate and try to get done?

William Duff:

Opposing school regionalization — As a former member of the Bethel Board of Education, I know the importance of local control of our schools. Hartford imposes far too many mandates on our schools already. We cannot allow Hartford to dictate how our schools are run or allow our schools to have our curriculum designed by bureaucrats in another town. I will work to ensure that our boards of education are elected by and are responsible to the people in their town.

Protecting local zoning — Hartford liberals and academics want to change zoning laws so that the state decides how each town should develop rather than people who live in those towns. Many towns have adopted “inclusionary zoning” and have seen developments that include housing opportunities for anyone who wants to live in our towns. I firmly believe in home rule and local control, each town knows best how to grow and develop itself and I will work to ensure that those decisions are made in each town hall, not at the state capital.

Law and order — Our communities and our police and other first responders are under attack. The rights that our Constitution provides are being trampled. As a staunch supporter of our first responders, I would’ve opposed the “Police Accountability” bill that our current state senator supported and spoke highly of, showing a lack of understanding as to what our brave men and women in blue do every day they leave their families. We need to make sure that our communities, our schools, our seniors are safe and secure. I will support legislation that ensures the public has confidence that the police will come when called.

WB: “ What separates you from your opponent, making you the better candidate for the 26th District?

As a lifelong resident of Bethel, and Republican, I have a better understanding of the 26th District than anyone running. I have served as a state representative and I’ve served as a member of the Board of Selectman and Board of Education, which gives a much better understanding of the pressures exerted by Hartford on our towns and school districts.

As a staunch supporter of our first responders, I would’ve opposed the “Police Accountability” bill that our current state senator not only voted for, but spoke highly of, clearly showing a lack of understanding as to what our brave men and women in blue do every day they leave their families.

The legislature is built on relationships. The ability to get things done requires knowing how the system works and how to use the system to the advantage of the people of the 26th District. I have that experience and will hit the ground running for the 26th District.

In short, the position of state senator is not an entry-level position.

If Republicans are going to win back the 26th Senate seat, we need a Republican candidate who knows how to win elections. Now is not the time for on-the-job training.

We can’t afford two more years of a state senator who is not prepared to represent the district. We can take back Connecticut, but it will require a state senator who can succeed in Hartford.

The 26th District encompasses Redding, Ridgefield, Wilton and portions of Bethel, New Canaan, Weston, and Westport.