East Lyme Republicans Strike Bipartisan Tone with Election Slate


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EAST LYME — The Republican Town Committee endorsed its slate of candidates for this fall’s elections on Monday night. 

“I’m incredibly excited by the level of enthusiasm and energy that was in the room tonight for our East Lyme Republican caucus,” said John Kleinhans, chair of the East Lyme Republican Town Committee. “We have a slate of bipartisan community leaders led by Kevin Seery who will put people over politics and continue to work for the betterment of our town.”

In a surprise, Candice Carlson, who ran last election as a Democrat, and Alisha Bradley who ran as a Democrat in 2009, joined Leigh McNamara Gianakos and Larry Fitzgerald on the Republican ticket for board of education. 

“I’m looking forward to working along with everyone to set a new tone in East Lyme this next municipal election,” Carlson said. “I am moving forward as an unaffiliated candidate and voter in the hopes that it inspires others to have the courage to serve in a balanced non-partisan fashion.”

Republicans also endorsed longtime Selectwoman Rose Ann Hardy, a longtime member of the board of selectmen who failed to secure the endorsement of Democrats at their meeting last week. Republicans also nominated Ann Santoro and Bill Weber for board of selectmen. 

“The slate we presented tonight is an example of our party’s commitment to bipartisanship and placing the welfare of town residents over allegiance to any specific political platform,” said Kevin Seery, current deputy first selectman of East Lyme. “Generations of people that live in this town remember Rose Ann as a teacher and educator, and as much as she was involved in politics as a Democrat, she always placed the welfare and interests of the town above any type of partisan political interest.” 

Seery, a retired state trooper and selectman for the last ten years, is the Republican choice for first selectman. He will face off against Democrat Camille Alberti, who came within 181 votes of being elected first selectman in 2019. Alberti has served on East Lyme’s Board of Finance for eight years, and as board chair for two. She received the Democratic nomination for the seat again last week, when the party finalized its municipal slate.

Asked for comment, East Lyme Democratic Town Committee Chair Jason Deeble said, “There are many names on this list I’ve had the pleasure of working with. There are many I have not had the opportunity to work with yet. I look forward to a spirited campaign and hearing what they have to say. We will likely present voters with contrasting perspectives but I believe we all truly want what’s best for the town.”

The rest of the slate: 

Board of Finance: Paul Maxfield, John Birmingham, and Denise Hall  

Tax Collector: John McCulloch 

Zoning: Norm Peck, Terry Granatek, Jim Laska, Frank Stanford (Alternate), Dave Schmidt (Alternate)

Planning: Tom Fitting, Don Phimster, Kirk Scott, Tim Laducer (Alternate), Olivia Fairchild (Alternate) 

Town Clerk: Karen Galbo (cross endorsed) 

Board of Assessment Appeals: Kim Kalajainen 

Town Treasurer: Scott Fraser

Editor’s note: the original version of this story misattributed a quote by Candice Carlson