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Key ways Sullivan and Hayes differ on the economy and education in the coronavirus crisis

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The coronavirus crisis that continues to stifle jobs and schools across the nation is a key dividing line in the race for Connecticut’s most competitive congressional district.

A New Fairfield prosecutor trying to be the first Republican to represent the 5th District since 2006 says the direction voters wanted when they elected Donald Trump president in 2016 is the way out of the COVID-19 crisis for people in northwestern and central Connecticut.

But U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes says the correction voters wanted when they elected her and a Democratic majority to the House of Representatives in 2018 is the way to help schools in need and get the economy back on its feet in Connecticut.

Republican challenger David X. Sullivan, a retired assistant U.S. attorney, said he started out campaigning against Hayes but has wound up fighting a war against “Marxism.”

“We need to move forward to provide help to people, but we have to transition away from total dependency on the federal government,” Sullivan told Hearst Connecticut Media last week. “We want to get people back to work.”

Hayes, who first made the spotlight in 2016 as the national Teacher of the Year, said relief for jobs and schools in Connecticut’s 5th District can’t wait for the next election day mandate on Nov. 3.

“We are in a Democratic majority in the House and the bills we are passing reflect Democratic priorities, but they also reflect the priorities of the people of this district,” Hayes told Hearst Connecticut Media. “I vote for the plan that does the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.”

Hayes’ and Sullivan’s comments came at the end of a week of virtual 5th District debates in Danbury and Waterbury, and a week of partisan debates in Washington, D.C., over a new