|Candidate Angel Fernandez for the 100th|
"Fernandez, 45, is running for State Representative for the in the race for the 100th House District seat.
"Right now people are so disappointed with both parties," he said. "It's shocking how disconnected a lot of our politicians are with a lot of people."
Fernandez described himself as "a big Second Amendment guy" but stressed that his campaign is also focusing heavily on rolling back some Common Core education requirements and cutting taxes.
He said he felt laws already in place before new gun control laws were enacted – if they had been properly enforced – would have been sufficient to address gun violence. He also said the new laws did not address many concerns about mental health, and said as a state representative he would support the rights of gun owners.
Fernandez was served in Operation Desert Storm and was deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan in the recent conflicts as part of a military police unit and an anti-terrorism unit providing security.
By his view of the local political scene, elected officials are out of touch with the needs of low- and middle-income residents.
"I served and I fought for my country and I came home to find a mess," Fernandez said.
He is now the owner of Eleven Charlie, a consulting company he started with friends from the Navy. The firm provides threat assessments for corporate and public buildings. He also has volunteered as deputy director of emergency management for the city for five years.
Fernandez ran for common council in the 2013 municipal election, his first attempt at running for office, but drew one of the lowest vote tallies out of the 18 council candidates.
He faces a challenge to unseat Lesser, who is running for a fourth term in the heavily-Democratic district.
"Angel is really going to be able to communicate the importance of being inclusive as a candidate," said Republican Councilwoman Deborah Kleckowski, who ran against Lesser two years ago.
She said Republicans are stressing "the urgency for party balance" in Hartford.
"One party rule is not a democracy or a republic," Kleckowski said. "The most important attributes Angel brings are his ability to communicate to a cross section of the population and his experience."
Fernandez said his pledge to potential voters is to be honest with them about issues and his stances, and to make sure he contributes to making the state a better place for his five sons.
"Public office should not be a right, it's a privilege. I'm not planning to be a career politician," he said. "You have to be honest with your people. If you're not honest with your people you lose your credibility. Looking back throughout history good politicians spoke the truth and spoke their minds.""