Tim Herbst ’02 Talks Politics at “Life After Trinity”

By Amanda Muccio ’18

On Tuesday, Apr 19, the Political Science Department wealcomed Tim Herbst to its ‘Life After Trinity’ series – which seeks to connect students with successful alumni as well as illuminate potential career paths.

The family room of Hallden Hall was filled with political science, economics and law students eager to hear the perspective of an alumnus who has served public office.

Herbst’s achievements reflect well on Trinity and are a source of inspiration to current students. Herbst graduated with honors from Trinity in 2002, earning a B.A. in political science. While in college, Herbst was an intern to Deputy House Majority Leader Themis Klarides through the Legislative Internship Program. He was also elected president of the student body. At only nineteen years old, Herbst was elected to the Planning and Zoning Commission, of which he served for eleven years, including a four year tenure as Chairman. He ran for the position when he was a student in Professor Diana Evans’ class.

After graduating from the Pace University School of Law in 2007, he practiced law with the Trumbull law firm Owens, Schine and Nicola. Herbst is currently the First Selectman of Trumbull, CT.

During his lecture, Herbst noted that his undergraduate experience had a “profound impact on his career in public service.”  He attributed much of his success in government relations to his Trinity education, and the classes offered by the Political Science Department. He specifically referenced Professor Evans’ Internship course as one of his greatest influences.

Mr. Herbst also spent much of his time speaking about of his career ‘failures’. Despite his professional success, Herbst lost to Democrat incumbent Denise Nappier in the 2014 race for Connecticut State Treasurer by six tenths of one percent. This campaign experience was one in which he was “humbled” and “learned a lot from”. Later, Herbst spoke largely to the positive and negative aspects of his run for office and the strategies involved. He communicated the importance of implementing what you values you campaign on, being willing to compromise “on issues without compromising on principles”, and the effect of negative campaigning on your electability.

Herbst also discussed the implications of bad decisions by governing powers on millennials. “One thing is for sure,” he noted, “we need to think about the future generation, not the next election.” Herbst, who is a Republican, then mentioned that he would be voting for Ohio Governor John Kasich at the Connecticut primary on Tuesday, Apr 26.

Herbst’s concluding statement was a piece of advice to Trinity students who are politically-driven or thinking of running for statewide office: “Don’t be afraid to lose.”

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