Rusty Gear Releases ‘First Ever Connecticut Country Song,’ Causes Political Controversy

The song is about the state’s hard-to-rhyme name and some of Governor Ned Lamont’s biggest legislative initiatives, including sports betting legalized and recreational use of cannabis for adults. Gear, which has been producing original country, blues and Southern rock music since 2017, called the song an “ode to CT” that gives the state “the musical recognition it deserves.” in an Instagram post.

“Back home, we thank the governor for the blessings we’ve had / We can play on the internet and it’s cool to smoke weed,” the song’s lyrics read.

Lamont shared part of the song on Twitter, noting that “Connecticut has it all,” including the best pizza in the country, lobster rolls, college basketball, beaches, breweries and now country music.

The Governor also tweeted another country song titled “Connecticut“, which was published on June 4 by the North County Band and asked its subscribers to vote for their favorite. “Connecticut” won, getting 66.9% of 350 votes. While Twitter users picked a favorite, no state money was used to produce either song, according to a spokesperson for the governor’s office.

“Within a week of each other, we had two songs that were written, the Connecticut country-western song,” Lamont said at an event in Stamford, according to CT News Junkie. “All we’ve done is try to put them side by side and see which one people like. I think they voted pretty hard for one.

Lamont’s support of Gear’s song drew criticism from his Republican gubernatorial challenger Bob Stefanowski.

“Our governor shouldn’t be encouraging kids to smoke marijuana because Ned Lamont thinks it’s ‘cool to smoke weed’. If that doesn’t prove we need a change of direction, I don’t know what’s going on,” Stefanowski wrote on Twitter.

Ned Lamont Director of Communications for CT Jake Lewis responded by saying that the Governor has never encouraged children to smoke cannabis, according to a report by CT News Junkie.

“It’s just another issue where Bob is disconnected from the majority of Connecticut,” Lewis said, according to CT News Junkie. “Meanwhile, Governor Lamont has fulfilled a campaign promise and created a legal adult cannabis market that is a national leader in prioritizing public health, public safety, criminal justice and fairness and protects our children.”

While Gear’s song content resonated with both Lamont and Stefanowski for different reasons, the musician’s website notes his approach to storytelling through his music.

“I’m less focused on genre and more focused on telling great stories and capturing authentic American experiences and emotions in songs that will connect with the audience during a live performance”, he wrote on his website.

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