OLD LYME — The Republican Town Committee quickly nominated and unanimously approved its slate of candidates at Town Hall on Thursday night, including incumbent First Selectman Timothy Griswold for another term and Matt Ward, a longtime state trooper and unaffiliated candidate, for selectman.
In the 2019 election, Griswold entered the race late and gained a spot on the ballot by petition. By a 56 to 44 percent margin, he won against incumbent Democrat Bonnie Reemsnyder, who had beaten Griswold in 2011. Griswold previously served as First Selectman from 1997 to 2011.
At Thursday’s meeting, he said this will be his ninth election and emphasized his experience as first selectman.
“As I see it, the town’s got a lot of things on its plate and things need to be wrapped up, hopefully, as we go forward. I think it would be important to keep that experience level in the first selectman’s office just because we are confronting a number of projects that are still ongoing and some new things that are coming along,” he said.
He said the Grassy Hill Road bridge project, the Sound View and Ferry Road sidewalks, the Halls Road plan, as well as the new bids on the sewer project were at the top of his list along with managing funds that the town will receive from the American Rescue Project
Ward, a newcomer to local politics and an unaffiliated candidate, was out of town for the meeting. Griswold described his running mate as a “very capable person” who would learn the job quickly.
On the Republican slate for the Board of Finance was current member and former chair Andrew Russell for a six-year term and current member Judith Read to fill a vacancy for four years. Nominated for two-year alternate positions were Maria Marchant and current alternate Matthew Olson.
For four-year terms on the regional Board of Education, the committee nominated Chris Staab, Michael Presti and two unaffiliated candidates, Laura Dean-Frasier and Mona Colwell.
For the Planning Commission, the committee nominated current member Todd Machnik for a five year term.
For a five-year term on the Zoning Commission beginning in 2021, the committee nominated Sloan Danenhower, who is unaffiliated. Current Zoning Commission Secretary Jane Marsh was nominated for a five-year term beginning in 2022.
Dan Montano was nominated as a candidate for a five-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals. The committee nominated Steven Cinami, , Sherry Johnston,Rod Clingman, and current Selectman Chris Kerr as alternates on the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The committee nominated incumbent Vicki Urbowicz for Town Clerk, and Griswold was nominated for a four-year term on the Board of Assessment Appeals.
Vicki Lanier, chair of the nominating committee, noted that four of the candidates on the Republican slate are unaffiliated.
“As a nominating committee we felt that we considered the most qualified candidates and selected them accordingly,” she said.
The 10-minute Republican meeting contrasted with the Democratic Town Committee meeting on Wednesday, which began at 7:30 p.m. behind closed doors in the meeting hall and continued past 10 p.m., though the actual adjournment time may have been earlier. A number of committee members exited the hall, and some re-entered, but all declined to disclose the candidate slate.
A call to the town clerk on Thursday morning confirmed that the Democratic slate had not yet been submitted. The deadline for filing is July 28.
Calls to the chair of the Democratic Town Committee and to a committee member were not returned.
Editor’s Note: We have updated the story to include Sherry Johnston on the slate of Zoning Board of Appeals alternates