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In 1983, I graduated from Sheehan High School, and thereafter briefly attended Southern Connecticut State University.  In 1985, I left college to pursue a career in retail management working for Caldor, and then Bradlees. In 1994, prompted by a lack of employment potential from having not obtained a college degree, I returned to school, enrolling at (then) Quinnipiac College.

By that time, my wife Rhonda and I were first time home buyers, living in Brentwood Condominiums in Wallingford. Because we had a mortgage to pay, I worked full-time while attending school, and Rhonda, who was already working full-time, picked up a second job, working nights at Filenes. Times were tough, but so were we.

In 1996, I left Bradlees to work as an overnight crew manager for BJ's Wholesale Club and, for about a year thereafter, commuted from Wallingford to Fairfield each night to manage the crew, while maintaining undergrad classes during the day. In 1998, I graduated, cum laude, from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and, due to my grades, was offered a partial scholarship to attend Quinnipiac’s law school - which I humbly accepted.

During law school, I continued to work full-time, then as a Temporary Assistant Clerk at the New Britain Superior Court and, in 2001, I graduated from law school, passing the bar exam on my first attempt.  In July of 2002, I started practicing law with my father Norman, at Fishbein Law Firm, LLC, in Wallingford, where I continue to this day.  My practice is primarily devoted to the areas of family law, domestic violence, civil and constitutional rights, as well as general civil litigation.

When Rhonda and I first married, she was a Republican, and I was … well … a Democrat. An active one at that. I confess that I was a staff member for Toby Moffett’s campaign for the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination in 1986, and that I voted for Bill Clinton … TWICE.

By 2003 though, I had learned that the major political party that most closely aligned with my ideals was the Republican Party, and I changed my affiliation. In 2007, being of an inquisitive nature, I sought out the Wallingford Republican Town Committee and began to attend its meetings. I was not a member, but an interested resident, finding it necessary to “get involved.”

In 2009, I decided to run for a seat on the Wallingford Town Council. In seeking the Republican nomination and local support, I told everyone that, if elected, I would focus my attention on the fundamental principles of smaller government, lower taxes, and less interference in the day-to-day affairs of our law-abiding citizens. That I would do my homework, ask questions, speak my mind, and make decisions - guided by the above principles. That I would not filter my decisions by party as, in my opinion, good governance knows no party affiliation. Ultimately, that first campaign, and the ones that have followed, have been successful.

Since January of 2010, I have been a member of the Wallingford Town Council, and was recently re-elected to that seat by a quite humbling and overwhelming margin. During my six terms on the Town Council, I have taken my duties very seriously, reviewing everything that has been forwarded to me, and conducted endless hours of research on my own - in an attempt to reach the best decisions for the benefit of Wallingford. During meetings I ask questions (some say TOO MANY questions) in furtherance of my quest to reach a sound decision.  As such, there is hardly a decision that I have made in the Town Council Chambers that, looking back, I would have handled differently.

In my tenure on the Town Council, I have never voted for a tax increase. I believe that government should (whenever practical) operate like a business. Therefore, I am a strong proponent of enterprise funding for the operations of government, employing user fees to reduce arbitrary taxes, with the resulting funds being used to sustain, as well as to improve the service - absent government subsidies.

In 2016, I acted when the opportunity arose to run for State Representative for the 90th Assembly District, which up until the end of this term is comprised of a part of Cheshire and a part of Wallingford. (NOTE: Beginning with the next legislative session, the 90th District will be comprised of most of Wallingford, and all of Middlefield.) The district had been very admirably represented for many years by Mary G. Fritz, who had announced her retirement in the spring of 2016. Truly one of the highlights of my 2016 was going to Mary’s retirement party on June 10 where I was blessed to receive her wise advice, as well as to see and hear the accolades of family, friends and colleagues that were showered down upon her. Sadly, Mary passed away a mere month later on July 9, 2016.

Mary’s passing while in office called for a special election and on Election Day 2016, voters were asked to vote for me twice: one in the special election to fill the remaining term and once in the regular election for the term that was to begin the following January. The result of that election was very favorable. Almost 60% of the voters chose me for both the special, as well as the regular election, and I was originally sworn into office on November 18, 2016.

On January 4, 2017, I was sworn into office for my first regular term as a State Representative, and assigned to the Commerce Committee, the Public Safety & Security Committee, and the Energy & Technology Committee.

On January 9, 2019, I was sworn into office for my second term, and assigned to the Judiciary Committee, the Labor & Public Employees Committee, and the Public Safety & Security Committee.

On January 6, 2021, I was sworn into office for my third term, and had the esteemed honor of serving as the House Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, as well as a member of the Environment Committee, and the Government Accountability & Elections Committee.

On January 4, 2023, I was sworn into office for my fourth term, continuing to maintain the esteemed honor of serving as the House Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, as well as a member of the Public Safety & Security Committee and the Regulations Review Committee.

I try to be quite diligent about reading and reviewing whatever bills come before me. There have been quite a few occasions where I have had to (unfortunately) point out problems with proposed statutory language just on the verge of its passage. I have opposed tax increases, as well as fee increases. I have attempted to limit state spending to actual state issues so as to alleviate the burden on our residents who sent millions of tax dollars to Hartford in the hopes that some of it may trickle back down to their municipality.

I am a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox and New York Rangers.  Most people will tell you that I bleed "Ranger Blue" and they would be right. For hobbies, I enjoy working out, playing ice hockey, hiking, running, fishing (salt and fresh), shotgun shooting sports (trap, skeet, sporting clays), and obstacle races. Rhonda and I have been married for 32 years. 

I believe that it is not the government’s responsibility to give us handouts or to tell us what to do.  It is also not the government's place to regulate, nor to tax us to death.  Taxes are to be collected for essential government services and it is high time that government be able to parse out between "wants" and "needs" if our economic system is ever to survive. 

As with locally, as a State Representative, I have continued to seek smaller government, lower taxes, and less interference in the day-to-day affairs of our law-abiding citizens. I will continue to do so in Hartford if the voters of the 90th General Assembly District allow me the opportunity to continue to serve them there. I enjoy, and am very proud to be a State Representative. I hope that the voters will see fit to allow me to remain as their representative into the 2024-25 term, and therefore I respectfully ask for your support on Election Day, November 5, 2024.



Fishbein for Connecticut - Jo-Anne L. Rusczek, Treasurer - Approved by Craig Fishbein
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