Finance industry expert Rob Merkle becomes the first Taxpayer Protection Pledge signer in the race for Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District. Democrat Rep. Jim Himes defeated former Rep. Chris Shays in 2008 to flip the seat from Republican to Democrat; eliminating the last GOP member from New England.  Prior to his defeat, Shays was a 10-term incumbent who had won his last two elections with over 51% of the vote in 2004 and 2006.

Cook Political Report ranks this race "Likely D" with a PVI of D +5 while CQ Politics ranks it as a "Leans Democrat."
To see ATR’s official statement on Rob Merkle signing the Pledge, click read more.
Rob Merkle (R-Conn.) signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge
Congressional candidate promises to protect taxpayers’ wallets
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rob Merkle, a Republican running in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional district, recently signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). The Pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
ATR has offered the Pledge to all candidates for federal office since 1987. To date, 34 U.S. senators and 172 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed the Pledge. Additionally, seven Governors and over 1,100 state legislators have signed the Pledge.
“After the passage of the so-called “Stimulus Package,” better known as the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Spending Give-Away, Americans are desperately searching for candidates and politicians that will protect their livelihoods and put their wallets ahead of the federal government’s coffers ,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.
“By signing the Pledge, Rob Merkle demonstrates that he understands the problems of hard-working taxpayers nationwide, but especially the taxpayers in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional district.”
“I challenge all candidates for federal office to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” Norquist continued.