Ten Minutes With John Frey
John Frey has represented Ridgefield since 1998 in the Connecticut state assembly, where he is currently minority whip. He is one of the state’s two representatives to the Republican National Committee, which also makes him a super-delegate, helping his party select its candidate for President. Frey is principal in his real-estate business, Century 21. We talked with Rep. Frey in his Main Street office about politics, Ridgefield, and raising his third dalmation.
How’s Ridgefield doing?
Ridgefield is doing well, but there a lot of people struggling. I used to get a lot of calls from people asking for help with adoptions or motor-vehicle issues. Now I’m dealing with people whose COBRA is running out or they are facing foreclosure.
How is Connecticut doing?
We increased taxes by $1.6 billion, and we still have a huge deficit. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. We need to encourage job growth.
What are you most proud of during your 14 years in office?
Securing money for Bennetts Farm. The state had never done that before. Widening Route 7—I managed to get my friend Gov. Rell to commit $46 million in discretionary highway money to finish it. Also I helped update Ballard Green.
Would you serve forever if you could?
No. I thought I would only be here two terms. I don’t plan on making a career out of it. At some point I might decide not to run. But I am committed to running for the next two terms.
What do you think of Mitt Romney?
I like him. There is so much emphasis on jobs, and I think he can help.
How about Obama?
I understand how people were excited about him four years ago. I don’t think he was prepared for the job though.
How about Gov. Malloy?
I like him. I went to see him last year after he was elected. We had a 20-minute meeting, no agenda. Afterward, his aide said: “You are the first Republican to reach out like this. The governor really appreciates it.” I was invited to his St. Patrick’s Day party at the governor’s mansion.
How about Rudy Marconi?
I have always gotten along well with Rudy. When the election’s over, it’s time to govern, and we do that well together. He and the police chief brought me this social hosting law. We all worked together, and it passed in Hartford unanimously.
You like Facebook.
I started a Ridgefield page and now there are about two thousand people. The traffic really grew during the hurricane and October storms.
You have a new dalmation?
I do. It’s my third one. The first was a rescue. His name was Coach. The second one was also Coach. Then when I got the third I asked for name suggestions on Facebook and got a few hundred. I tried some out, like Reagan, but eventually went with Coach again. It’s sort of embarrassing.
They are very loyal and fun and energetic. Did you know that there are only five dalmations in Ridgefield?