Sal Stephen Ross Lilienthal came of age in the 1980s and admired Ronald Reagan.
But now, at age 46, Lilienthal says he is dismayed by the direction of the country. “I’m embarrassed by our state, with the highest per capita debt in the nation,” he said in an interview Wednesday night. “I run a small business and I feel the government has significantly impacted small to mid-size companies.”
Lilienthal, who lives in Kent and owns a company that runs bicycle tours, says he is running for Congress in the 5th District because he wants to bring back the small-government mindset of the Reagan era.
He has only raised about $3,000 so far, but he says he’s not intimidated by the big dollar totals accrued by the Democratic incumbent, Elizabeth Esty.
Before facing Esty, Lilienthal will have to win the GOP nomination. Litchfield County businessman Mark Greenberg is also seeking the Republican party nod and other candidates are expected to enter the race soon.
Lilienthal is undaunted. “I know Mark Greenberg, I like him,” Lilienthal said. “My opponent is not him, my opponent is Obama.”