Connecticut Republican congressional candidate Dan Debicella is the latest winner of the party’s Fredrick K. Biebel Lifetime Achievement Award named for the staunch Republican whose influence reached nationwide. Either the Connecticut GOP is desperate to find someone who has actually lived more than 40 years and has a record of achievement or they are desperate to build up the former state senator in his race for Congress. Either way it’s kind of sad and likely has Biebel spinning in his grave.
It’s not that Debicella isn’t accomplished—he is. His résumé is quite impressive for a 38-year old. As his website points out, “Dan graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Finance and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston, graduating in the top 5% of his class.” He has never shied away from pointing that out to people.
Debicella positions himself as a successful businessman. He had a management post at Bridgewater Associates which ironically has become a headache for Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Debicella served two terms in the state Senate before running against Democratic US Rep. Jim Himes. Debicella lost. He is now seeking a rematch which very well may be the reason he is receiving a lifetime achievement award. Debicella will need all the help he can get. Himes is a star on the rise and was most vulnerable—as all congressmen are—after his first term. But he was able to turn back Debicella then and will likely do it again.
State Republican Party Chair Jerry Labriola, Jr. is understandably propping Debicella up as the Biebel winner. “As a state senator and as a congressional candidate, Dan has consistently fought hard for Connecticut’s families and businesses. The Frederick K. Biebel Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the many accomplishments Senator Debicella has made throughout his career in public service – both as a state senator and as a Republican nominee for Congress in 2010,” he said.
I can think of quite a few Republicans who have had much longer and much more successful careers than Debicella. And if being a candidate is a requirement, how about state Senate Majority Leader John McKinney, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton or state Senator Toni Boucher, all of whom have experience that dwarfs Debicella?
But then again, Dan “Decibel” Debicella needs all the help he can get.