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Dombroski Laces Up for An 'Uphill' Battle

Retired attorney to challenge State Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) as the Democratic party nominee.

Bob Dombroski, 65, of Wheeler Road has run 4.5 miles a day since he and his wife Anita moved to town in 2003. When the couple lived in Michigan, Dombroski ran 6.2 miles a day. Now the Democrat is running against longtime incumbent State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, a Republican, in the staunchly conservative 112th District.

"When I first ran in Michigan, as now, it was constant uphill running," Dombroski said. "I joined this race, because it's an uphill race, and I enjoy running uphill."

Ten delegates, two from Newtown and eight from Monroe, unanimously nominated Dombroski in the Democratic Convention for the 112th State House District Tuesday night. The 112th represents a portion of Newtown and Monroe.

"The last time I ran for office was in Michigan in 1990, roughly 20 years ago," Dombroski said. "I was a young man. Now near retirement at 65, I will campaign vigorously."

Lee Crouch served as chairman during Tuesday's proceedings and Dr. Alan Vaglivelo was secretary. In his nominating speech, Vaglivelo said, "Bob's strong leadership skills, family values and commitment to community make him an excellent candidate for the 112th District.

Monroe Democratic Town Committee Chairman Nick Kapoor said of Dombroski, "I'm very excited about his campaign. Representative Hovey is going to have to show why she should be reelected. It's a good race. I'm looking forward to a productive discussion of the issues in the 112th."

In a short speech, Dombroski said he was more interested in discussing his own background and qualifications, rather than his opponent's record at this time. But he went on to say a few things about Hovey anyway.

"I, quite frankly, had no impression whatsoever of my opponent," Dombroski said. "One of the salient reasons is I know nothing of my opponent and what she's done — and she's been a representative for over a decade. Now that's disconcerting."

"What we need at this point is somebody to lead," he said. "Somebody to get us out of this mess. We're in a national economy that's akin to The Great Depression."

Dombroski and Anita, president of Housatonic Community College and his wife of 40 years, have two daughters, Kara and Ariel. Ariel earned her Master's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Columbia last year and has been looking for employment ever since.

Dombroski is happy with the job Gov. Dannel Malloy is doing, but complained that there are constant cutbacks "when we need job creation". He believes Connecticut needs more teachers and people in law enforcement.

"I believe in public education and that will be my number one priority in the legislature," said Dombroski. "Educators are our job creators."

Dombroski's late father was a high school physical education teacher and his daughter Kara is an elementary school teacher in Michigan.

Legal Career

Bob Dombroski grew up in Portland, Conn., before school took him to Michigan. He graduated from Wesleyan University before earning his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor where he met Anita, his bride-to-be.

Dombroski was an assistant prosecutor and went on to the position of staff attorney with Northern Michigan Legal Services.

"This law firm was a pioneer grantee of J.F.K./L.B.J.'s anti-poverty program," Vaglivelo said in his nominating speech. "Bob stayed on to open up an office in Traverse City, Mich., which went on to serve 10 counties in the northwest region of the lower peninsula. The firm had four attorney's under the national leadership of Jimmy Carter and the then head of the Legal Services Corporation, Hillary Rodham Clinton."

Dombroski said he served there from 1975 to 1984, when President Ronald Reagan cut the program from four attorneys in a bad recession to only Dombrowski.

"Those were the best years of my legal career, helping poor white rural people in northern Michigan," he recalled.

Those receiving assistance were blue collar people working in the mining and timber industry. Dombroski said many of them depended on firewood for heat in the winter and hunted for deer and other wildlife to help to put food on the table.

Dombroski said his family moved to Monroe in 2003 when Anita was hired as a dean at Housatonic Community College. At that time, Dombroski retired from his law practive to care for his ailing father.

Zygmund Dombroski

Dombroski's father Zygmund died at age 89. The youngest of eight siblings of Polish immigrants, Zygmund grew up on a farm in Portland, graduated from high school and went on to earn a college degree at the University of Alabama when America was in the midst of The Great Depression — a time when less than five percent of the population had college degrees, according to Dombroski.

Dombroski said high school teacher Anna O'Brien encouraged his father to go to college, adding she was also his teacher years later.

Zygmund grew up in a Republican household, but became a Democrat after President Franklin D. Roosevelt impressed him with the New Deal while trying to pull the country out of the Great Depression.

His brother Joe went on to be active in Connecticut politics and Dombroski remembers hearing his uncle and father arguing about politics often.

Dombroski himself ran for a state legislative seat covering the Port Huron area and Sanilac County in Michigan in 1990, but lost.

"The Nichols brothers have a farm in a rural part of the district I ran in," he said. "They were friends with Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing. There is militia there. Not a friendly place for a Democrat to be running."

When asked why he is a Democrat, Dombroski said, "I think it's really easy now to be a Democrat, because of what's happened in the Republican party — how much going on in the national Republican party has filtered down to the state and local level. There's a lack of civility. It's no longer the party of Raymond Baldwin, Clare Booth Luce and Lowell Weicker. Instead its become the party of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter."

E.V. May 24, 2012 at 01:20 PM
As a Democrat candidate we can look forward to a campaign by Mr. Dombroski of continuing the Democrat ideals of out of control wasteful government spending, unlimited budget deficts, the politics of class warfare, continued placating of union thugs (particularly the teacher's unions), coddling of criminals, the continued dumbing down of our culture, and the continued destruction of human life. Gosh, that is something to look forward to. If you want to see a lack of civility start with a look at the current occupant of the White House and his campaign.
Fact Checker May 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM
What is a union thug? Read and learn.... http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05-22/commentary/31802270_1_spending-federal-budget-drunken-sailor
Paul Alexander May 24, 2012 at 06:53 PM
“We're in a national economy that's akin to The Great Depression." I agree. I appreciate your commitment to that reality but you’re off message with your party. I hope you stay true to this belief and don’t cave to those in your party who will tell you to get your mind right about the “recovering” economy. “Daughter Ariel earned her Master's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Columbia last year and has been looking for employment ever since.” MA in Anthropology. Fun to study. No job. What were you thinking? Get your PhD and HOPE to find a teaching position. Or better yet, got back to school and get a STEM related degree. “He believes Connecticut needs more teachers and people in law enforcement.” Coincidentally, both sport large public unions who funnel large amounts of union dues to Democratic politicians who support these unions. Shark meet remora. "Educators are our job creators." WRONG! But that view IS Democratic dogma. (See above comment) What else would you expect him to say? “the Republican party (is) no longer the party of Raymond Baldwin, Clare Booth Luce and Lowell Weicker.” Thank God! I congratulate you for entering the arena Bob. May those with the best ideas for the State, and who actually EXECUTE them, win.
Paul Alexander May 24, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Drunken sailor????? I am not sure where the author’s hostility towards drunken sailors comes from that he feels it necessary to libel drunken sailors by comparing them to deficit spending politicians. Believe me, as a former 20-year U.S. naval officer I can state unequivocally and from experience that drunken sailors are an honorable lot. I never borrowed a dime to support my drinking habits while enjoying liberty overseas. I never asked anyone to lend me drinking money and I certainly never demanded anyone provide me with drinking money. Not from my children, my unborn grandchildren, the taxpayers, or even the stranger on the bar stool next to me. I spent the cash I had and ONLY the cash I had. And I definitely didn’t issue any "Support Drunken Sailor" bonds. And when I was out of cash I stopped drinking and started stumbling back to the boat. I just wish our political leaders were so responsible.
Christine Rose (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Please maintain a respectful tone in the comments or they will be taken down. It is not civil to refer to union workers as thugs. Civility starts at home. :-) Thank you!
Paul Alexander May 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Can you refer to their BEHAVIOR as "thugish"? Will the Patch censors approve of that?
E.V. May 25, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Ms. Rose, What would you call members of organized labor that attempt to shut down governments and intimidate any politician who happens to disagree with them. How about the instances of threats and assaults to fellow union members, again because thay may disagree with the party line. Finally, how about the attempts to politicize the education of children by indicating that without unlimited funds poured into these unions then they cannot possibly educate children. If you can come up with a better term to describe these types of union members, all allies of the Democratic party, I will be glad to use it.
Fact Checker May 25, 2012 at 01:13 PM
shut down governments intimidate any politician who happens to disagree with them politicize the education of children by indicating that without unlimited funds poured into these unions talk is cheap, How about some examples?
Paul Alexander May 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM
You'll get PLENTY of examples after the budget referendum is approved with the big whacking to the school budget. The teacher's union passive-aggressive playbook is filled with plenty of thugish mischief.
Paul Alexander May 25, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Then, theres always POTUS for those yearning for graduate level education in Thuggery... "SEIU Thugs Teach Health Care Protesters the ‘Chicago Way’ of Politics" "Barack Obama told a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia back in 2008, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” He added, “That’s the Chicago way.” http://pjmedia.com/blog/seiu-thugs-teach-protestors-the-chicago-way-of-politics/
E.V. May 25, 2012 at 01:31 PM
In several states, Democratic legislators went into hiding rather than meet and vote on reasonanable attempts to reduce public sector spending. In Wisconsin, interference with the legislature as it was preparing to vote on public sector spending. Other attempts to recall Governors who are trying to return their states to some measure of fiscal responsibility. Finally the constant mantra, here in Newtown and nationwide, that to make the schools better they need more money, more money, and more money.
Paul Alexander May 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Thuggish is as thuggish does. “Thug” is a COMPLETELY appropriate word. There is nothing uncivil about the use of the word. It may upset the delicate sensibilities of some people, but that shouldn’t disqualify the word from suitable and appropriate use. “Gov. Nicki Haley on Union Piñata Beating” “South Carolina Governor Nicki Haley spoke out tonight about the video circulating on YouTube showing union leaders beating a Nicki Haley piñata with a bat. "This is typical of union thugs. This past week Democrats have come after me with racial slurs and union thugs have hit me with the piñata"" http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/05/gov-nicki-haley-on-union-pinata-beating-this-is-typical-of-union-thugs-theres-a-reason-only-10-or-12-were-at-her-party-video/ Union Thugs!
sebastian dangerfield May 25, 2012 at 07:04 PM
fact checker central falls rhode island governor scott walker of wisconsin the state of connecticut Now will you admit that unions do engage in this type of behavior?

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