Justin Bernier (R-CT-5)
Campaign links: Justin Bernier (R-CT-5)
Justin Bernier Congressional Candidate Connecticut District 5
Biography from Bernier for Congress
“This election is about the future of America.” — Justin Bernier
A dynamic campaigner known for his positive message about America’s future, Justin Bernier is running for Congress in the 5th District of Connecticut.
Justin’s message of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise solutions resonates with voters who believe our goal should be prosperity and not decline. With his “no-excuses” approach, Justin is a breath of fresh air for Republicans who want to compete and win in Connecticut again.
Connecticut needs a fresh start and that means electing people to Congress who have principled stances, real-life experience and a record of service to others.
Commitment to Family & Education
“…A rising young star in the state’s Republican Party.” — New Britain Herald
Justin was born in Hartford in 1975 to parents who taught their children the value of hard-work by example. He and his eight younger siblings graduated from the Farmington public school system. Justin was also educated in Connecticut’s outdoors, earning the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts.
Justin graduated from Fordham University in 1997. He later earned a master’s degree in International Security and Economic Policy from the University of Maryland, and a second master’s degree in International Relations from Georgetown University, providing him with a firm handle on the challenges facing our nation today. Justin is a graduate of the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems, a program of The Fund for American Studies, which has been educating emerging leaders on the values of freedom and free-market economies at Georgetown for nearly fifty years.
Justin and his wife Jennie, a former public school teacher, live in Plainville with their baby daughter Renée. They are members of the YMCA and St. Patrick’s Parish in Farmington.
Proven Service to Country and Connecticut
“Justin Bernier’s background is ideal for this job. A veteran of the war in Afghanistan, he became the youngest member of the governor’s cabinet in early 2008 when Jodi Rell named him executive director of the Connecticut Office of Military Affairs.” — Torrington Register-Citizen
An intelligence officer in the Navy reserve, Justin served a tour in landlocked Afghanistan in 2007. He was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his service.
After returning home to Connecticut, Justin was named Executive Director of the Office of Military Affairs by Governor M. Jodi Rell. The state senate unanimously confirmed Justin as a department head shortly thereafter.
Justin worked tirelessly for Connecticut’s military families and defense workers while serving the state. To address the reality that American troops on the front lines lack access to the ballot box, Justin drafted a law to let them vote electronically when deployed overseas. Also under Justin’s leadership, the State of Connecticut reached a historic agreement with the U.S. Navy in order to improve Submarine Base New London and avoid a future shutdown. Justin simultaneously fought Pentagon plans to outsource good-paying defense jobs integral to our economy and our national security.
Justin was Chairman of Connecticut’s Military and Defense Advisory Council, an unpaid group of experts committed to helping the state’s workers, veterans and military families. He also served on the state’s Council on Education for Children in Military Families. Governor Rell thanked Justin in 2009 when he stepped down from his position to run for Congress, citing his “hard work and dedication” to the state. The New Britain Herald reported that “Connecticut’s defense industry and infrastructure lost a military-friendly advocate.” Justin remains active in the veteran community as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, an organization widely recognized for its charitable activities across Connecticut.
In late-2010, with Connecticut facing a multi-billion dollar deficit and a severe recession, Justin was named to the state Commission on Compensation of Elected State Officers and Judges. Arguing that state officials should share sacrifice in the budget crisis, Justin was the lone member of the commission to support a pay cut for Connecticut’s office-holders.
Success Fighting Bureaucracy
“Justin Bernier fought doggedly and successfully to save Connecticut’s New London Submarine Base, which the Pentagon had hoped to shutter during the 2005 base-closure round.” — Congress Daily
Before serving in Afghanistan, Justin was a Senior Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he directed the battle to save the submarine base from closure. Losing this strategic asset would have weakened the Navy and cost the state more than 30,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in economic activity.
With the same drive, Justin coordinated efforts to stop wasteful defense spending in order to fund programs that our troops really needed, including body armor and hardened vehicles. In addition, he wrote legislation to enact much-needed reforms to the U.S. Intelligence Community. Justin spearheaded legislation on important economic issues as well. He wrote a law that prevents Russia from using U.S. foreign aid to make biological weapons and worked on trade issues, specifically the nation’s unhealthy economic relationship with China. Justin travelled to Asia to facilitate a multi-billion dollar proposal to let Taiwan buy eight submarines from the United States in a deal that would create thousands of jobs in Connecticut.
In the private sector, Justin worked at SAIC, a Fortune 500 scientific, engineering and technology applications company that solves problems of vital importance to the nation. He also worked on construction sites during his graduate and undergraduate studies.
A Fresh Start
Justin Bernier “has been tearing up the turf in the 5th congressional district… He is a dynamo that thinks.” — Connecticut Political Columnist Don Pesci
Justin knows that America needs a fresh start to deal with the recession and its underlying causes. He also believes that Connecticut voters want new representation in Congress to provide leadership on these critical issues.
Connecticut needs a strong Republican Party, but today the state lives under a one-party system. That system is controlled by career politicians whose policies keep us from reaching our potential. Justin is committed to reversing this trend.
Prosperity is possible again with the right economic strategy. This plan is not government as usual. It is government as it should be: responsible, limited and transparent…and it won’t cost us trillions of dollars.
The deficit is out of control, with Washington borrowing half of every dollar it spends. Overspending is preventing economic recovery and saddling taxpayers with a mountain of debt. Congress should stop its endless borrowing and return government spending to below 1998 levels.
Strengthen the Dollar
Inflation steals from American families by eroding the value of their savings and investments. Congress needs to audit the Federal Reserve and hold it accountable for failing to provide a stable dollar and a sound monetary policy.
Repeal and Replace Obamacare
Lowering costs is the key to health care reform. But Obamacare is already increasing health care costs for millions of American families and small businesses while cutting Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars. We can do better with market-based reforms that lower costs, protect patients and caregivers, and expand access to care for all Americans.
The United States has a free trade policy — but almost no other nation does. Congress must ensure fair trade by making our trading partners lower their tariffs and taxes on American-made products. Congress must also get serious about currency manipulation and intellectual property theft abroad.
Lower Taxes on Savings & Investments
High taxes kill jobs by taking money out of the private sector. The economy needs a reduction in taxes that impact private sector investment, including the income tax, business taxes, the capital gains tax, and the death tax.
Encourage Job Creators & Innovation
The next breakthroughs in energy, medicine and technology will come from America if the government lets our entrepreneurs get to work. Congress can play a positive role by streamlining regulations and encouraging useful research and development. Congress can also help by lowering the U.S. business tax, which is now the highest in the developed world.
Reduce Energy Costs
Until the next technological breakthrough arrives, America needs an all-of-the-above energy policy that reduces costs through greater output and conservation. Tax increases on energy through a “Cap-and-Trade” scheme should be opposed because they will make gasoline, transportation, heating, food and every other product more expensive for Americans.
Make College Affordable
An educated workforce is essential to our country’s future. Unfortunately, government policies have led to unaffordable tuition costs. American families deserve policies that bring down tuition costs and stop federal dollars from going to schools that price gouge students.
Do you know where you still on the political spectrum? See “Political Beliefs, Where Are You” to find out where you stand.