Esposito Runs on Experience, Promises a ‘Hands-On’ Approach as Danbury Mayor

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Republican Dean Esposito is running for Mayor of Danbury, a seat left open for the first time in decades with the retirement of Mark Boughton, after he served ten consecutive terms. In 2019, Boughton won re-election with 8,598 votes to his Democratic opponent’s 7,372.  Esposito serves as chief of staff to the Mayor of Danbury, and previously served five terms as a Danbury City Councilman. He will face off against Democrat Roberto Alves, a technical sales engineer and Danbury City Councilman. The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Esposito about his campaign and policy priorities if elected. This interview has been edited

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New Haven Alder Darryl Brackeen Makes His Case for Secretary of the State

In June, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced that she would not be running for election, opening the door for a slew of candidates to express interest in the position.  One of those candidates is New Haven Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr. Three other Democratic candidates, State Sen. Matt Lesser of Middletown, State Rep. Hilda Santiago of Meriden, and State Rep. Josh Elliott of Hamden, have also formed exploratory committees.  A Republican has not served as Secretary of the State since 1995, but two GOP candidates have thrown their hats in the ring: Dominic Rapini, a senior account manager

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Democrat Josh Elliott Makes a Case for Secretary of the State

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In June, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced that she would not be running for election, opening the door for a slew of candidates to express interest in the position.  One of those candidates is Democratic State Rep. Josh Elliott of Hamden. Three other Democratic candidates, State Sen. Matt Lesser of Middletown, State Rep. Hilda Santiago of Meriden, and New Haven Alder Darryl Brackeen Jr., have also formed exploratory committees.  A Republican has not served as Secretary of the State since 1995, but two GOP candidates have thrown their hats in the ring: Brock Weber, an aide to

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Dominic Rapini Takes up Voter Trust as an Issue in his Bid for Secretary of the State

In June, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced that she would not be running for election, opening the door for a slew of candidates to express interest in the position. A Republican has not served as Secretary of the State since 1995, but two GOP candidates hope to change that next fall. The two declared Republican candidates are Brock Weber, an aide to Mayor Erin Stewart of New Britain, and Dominic Rapini, a senior account manager at Apple.  Four Democratic candidates, State Rep. Josh Elliott of Hamden, State Sen. Matt Lesser of Middletown, Rep. Hilda Santiago of Meriden,

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After Decades Under GOP, Democrat Roberto Alves Calls Danbury ‘Stagnant,’ in Run for Mayor

Democrat Roberto Alves is running for Mayor of Danbury, a seat left open for the first time in decades with the retirement of Republican Mark Boughton, who served ten consecutive terms. In 2019, Boughton won reelection with 8,598 votes to his Democratic opponent’s 7,372. Alves, a technical sales engineer and Danbury City Councilman, will face off against Republican Dean Esposito, who serves as chief of staff to the Mayor of Danbury.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Alves about his campaign and policy priorities if elected. This interview has been edited for clarity. What inspired you to run for mayor of

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Sean Donlan Talks Pro-Active Leadership in His Run for Haddam First Selectman

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Democrat Sean Donlan is challenging incumbent Republican Robert McGarry in the race for Haddam First Selectman. McGarry was first elected in 2019, with 62 percent of the vote. In the 2020 elections, the town voted for Democrats Joe Biden and Joe Courtney at the national level, and Republicans Brendan Saunders and Robert Siegrist for the state legislature.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Donlan about his priorities if elected. This interview has been edited for clarity. Why did you decide to run for Haddam First Selectman?  I’m very passionate about Haddam. My kids are who they are because they grew up

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Democratic Chair Nancy DiNardo on the Fall Elections, the Public Option and Trump

Nancy DiNardo, a former teacher and administrator in Bridgeport, serves as chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party. DiNardo previously served as chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Eastern Regional Caucus.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with DiNardo about her hopes for this fall’s elections.  This interview has been edited for clarity. How do you see your role as chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party?  My role is to provide campaign leadership to our elected officials, candidates, and town committees, and my job is to help candidates at all levels frame and deliver a message that will get voters to come out

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Dan Reale Talks Growth, ‘Unmask Our Kids,’ and the Libertarian Party of Connecticut

Dan Reale serves as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut, a statewide third party that seeks to elect candidates to local, state, and national office.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Reale about the identity of the Libertarian Party, and how he sees the party’s prospects for this fall’s municipal elections.  This interview has been edited for clarity. How do you see your role as chair of the Libertarian Party of Connecticut?  The main responsibility I have as chair of the party is obviously growing the party, which has been accomplished despite COVID. As a matter of fact, if anything,

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Hall Talks Taxes, Safety and Development in Run for Westbrook First Selectman

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Republican John Hall is running for First Selectman of Westbrook, a seat left vacant by the retirement of longtime Republican First Selectman Noel Bishop. Hall, who has served on the Board of Selectmen for 10 years, is running against Democrat Chet Bialicki, Westbrook High School’s teen leadership coordinator.  Why did you decide to run for Westbrook First Selectman?  I’ve been involved in Westbrook politics for most of my adult life. I was on the Zoning Board of Appeals for 27 years, and have spent the last 12 years on the Board of Selectmen. I knew I’d live my life in

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Chet Bialicki Makes His Case for Westbrook First Selectman

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Democrat Chet Bialicki is running for First Selectman of Westbrook, a seat left vacant by the retirement of longtime Republican First Selectman Noel Bishop. Bialicki, Westbrook High School’s teen leadership coordinator, is running against Republican nominee John Hall, who has served on the Board of Selectmen for 10 years.  Why did you decide to run for Westbrook First Selectman?  I’ve been a teacher in Westbrook for 44 years, and I have a passion for the town. I always have. My involvement in education has always been more than just work within the walls of the school itself. I write grants

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Old Lyme Candidates for Board of Education Speak to the Issues

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As Lyme-Old Lyme’s Board of Education prepares for a sizable turnover in November, slates endorsed by the Democrats and Republicans took questions from CT Examiner about their spending priorities, about communicating with the public, the teaching of History and measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Four incumbent members of the Board — Richard Goulding (D), Stacey Leonardo (R), Jean Wilczynski (D) and chair Diane Linderman (D) — are not seeking re-election. The Old Lyme Democrats have endorsed incumbent Martha Shoemaker (D) and newcomers Alexander Lowry (D), Marisa Calvi-Rogers (D) and Jason Kemp (D). The Old Lyme Republicans have

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State Officials Debate Limits on Equity Licensing for Legal Marijuana

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When Connecticut legislators agreed this spring to legalize recreational marijuana, a number of lawmakers did so with the proviso that the change would also foster an equitable, diverse market, with meaningful benefits for people from communities disproportionately harmed by the criminalization of marijuana.  “There won’t be a cannabis bill in this state until we get equity right,” said State Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, at a press conference before the passage of the law.   Translating those goals into policy is the work of a 15-member social equity council appointed by Gov. Ned Lamont and state lawmakers to iron out the

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Mary Bylone Makes Her Case for a Second Term as Colchester First Selectman

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First Selectman Mary Bylone is running for a second term in office, facing off against Republican challenger Andreas Bisbikos, a member of the Colchester Board of Finance and high school social studies teacher. Bylone unseated two-term Republican First Selectman Art Shilosky in 2019, winning with 54 percent of the vote.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Bylone about her goals for a second term, and what she’s proudest of from her tenure so far.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.   Your opponent has said that Town Hall has been “toxic,” and described you as a “bully.” I’d like

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Long Aligned With the GOP, Connecticut’s Independent Party Tacks Left

Long perceived as simply a second ballot line for the Republican Party, Connecticut’s Independent Party has begun to shift its endorsements to include more Democrats and candidates not supported by either major party, a Connecticut Examiner analysis of state election data finds.  In state legislative elections in 2014, 2016, and 2018, the Independent Party cross-endorsed a total of just nine Democrats, while in 2020, they cross-endorsed 18. It’s still a far cry from 2020’s 87 Republican cross-endorsements, but is a demonstration of a trend noticed by party observers.  Carlos Moreno, state director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, said he’s

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Calling Town Hall ‘Toxic,’ Andreas Bisbikos Makes a Case for Colchester First Selectman

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Andreas Bisbikos, a member of the Colchester Board of Finance Member and high school social studies teacher, is the Republican candidate for First Selectman of Colchester. He is challenging incumbent Mary Bylone, who unseated two-term Republican First Selectman Art Shilosky in 2019, winning with 54 percent of the vote.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Bisbikos about what motivates his run, and what differentiates him from his opponent.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.   What inspired you to run for Colchester First Selectman?  This is an opportunity to give back to the town that has provided my family

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Carlos Moreno Talks Working Families Party, Danbury and New Britain Races

Carlos Moreno serves as Connecticut State Director of the Working Families Party, a statewide third party that advocates for organized labor, racial justice, and pushing the Democrats to the left “as much as possible.”  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Moreno about the party’s priorities for elections this fall,  How do you see your role as state director for the Connecticut Working Families Party?  As state director, my role is to steer the organization’s platform, administrate and manage the endorsement process, embrace issues of the day, and continue to move forward in terms of different ways to expand unions and support

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Connecticut’s Green Party Talks Values, Fall Elections

Dustin Fiore, Peter Goselin and Cassandra Martineau serve as co-chairs of Connecticut’s Green Party, a statewide third party that seeks to elect candidates supporting “grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom” to local, state, and national office.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Fiore and Goselin about the identity of the Green Party, and how they see the party’s prospects for this fall’s elections. Martineau, who is running for Congress in Connecticut’s second district, was unavailable to be interviewed for this story. This interview has been edited for clarity. How do you think about the role of chair of the

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Mike Telesca Explains the Independent Party’s Role in the Coming Elections

Mike Telesca serves as chairman of the Independent Party of Connecticut, a statewide third party that seeks to elect independent candidates to local, state, and national office.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Telesca about the identity of the Independent Party, and how he sees the party’s prospects for this fall’s municipal elections.  This interview has been edited for clarity. How do you see your role as chair of the Independent Party of Connecticut?  My role is to facilitate the growth of the party, and that’s what I try to do. I try to find people who are politically active in

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Portia Bordelon Speaks Out on Respler, the Democratic Slate, Her Role as Councilor

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GROTON — In 2019, Portia Bordelon was the second highest incumbent vote-getter in the race for town council, but  on July 21 she failed to win an endorsement for re-election from the local Democratic Town Committee. Bordelon has instead petitioned her way on to September’s primary ballot.  It’s unusual for a town committee not to endorse its incumbent candidates, the Democratic chair Conrad Heede agrees, but why exactly Bordelon was left off the Democratic slate remains a matter of disagreement. “I ran on transparency, accountability and openness, being willing to speak my mind and advocate for the constituents in the

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GOP Chair Ben Proto on the Fall Elections, and the Future of the Party in Connecticut

Ben Proto, a Stratford-based attorney, was elected in June to chair the Connecticut Republican Party. Proto led Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in Connecticut, worked on Steve Obsitnik’s campaign for governor in 2018, and served as state coordinator for the 2000 presidential run of John McCain. The Connecticut Examiner caught up with Proto after his first few months on the job for an interview about how he sees the party’s prospects for this fall’s municipal elections.  This interview has been edited for clarity. How do you see your role as chair of the Connecticut Republican Party?  I look at the state

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Peter Nystrom Talks Fiscal Responsibility, a Third Term as Norwich Mayor

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Republican Mayor Peter Nystrom is running for reelection this fall, seeking a third term in the office. The Republican incumbent is facing off against Democrat Mark Bettencourt, who serves as Norwich City Council President Pro Tempore and lost to Nystrom in the 2009 Norwich mayoral race.  In 2017, Nystrom was elected with 57 percent of the vote.   The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Nystrom about why he’s seeking a third term, and what he’s proudest of during his tenure as mayor.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.  What led you to run for a third term as mayor

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Alexis Harrison Talks Affordability, Her Run for Fairfield Planning and Zoning

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Alexis Harrison, a Fairfield native and well-known advocate on zoning and affordable housing, announced she is running for a two-year term on the Plan and Zoning Commission in Fairfield.  Harrison has served as co-president of Fairfielders Protecting Land and Neighborhoods, a local advocacy organization dedicated to “good government and environmental stewardship.” As a member of CT169strong, spoke out against housing bill HB6611 and an earlier version of HB6107, which would have diminished local control of zoning. What should the state’s role be in providing affordability for Connecticut residents? First of all, Connecticut ranks 49th in housing development, because of the

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Veronica DeLandro Makes Her Case for New Britain Mayor

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Veronica DeLandro is challenging four-term incumbent Erin Stewart for Mayor of New Britain this November. Other Democratic challengers include State Rep. Bobby Sanchez, D-New Britain and activist Alicia Hernandez. In 2019, Stewart, a Republican, won reelection handily, with 6,013 votes compared to Democrat Chris Porcher’s 3,592, and Independent Devione Tanksley’s 187.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with DeLandro about why she’s running, and what her priorities would be if elected.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.  What inspired you to run for mayor of New Britain?  The need for change in our city is what inspired me to

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John Carlson Makes His Case for New Haven Mayor

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New Haven Republican Party Chair John Carlson is running for mayor of New Haven. The city has not had a Republican mayor since 1953, and the local Republican party has not fielded a candidate in 14 years. Out of New Haven’s registered voters, 70 percent are Democrats, four percent are Republicans, and the remainder are unaffiliated.  Carlson, a fourth grade teacher in Bridgeport, is challenging incumbent New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, whose main challenger in the Democratic primary, Karen Dubois-Walton, dropped out last month.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Carlson about the role of Republicans in New Haven, and what

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Fortuna to Run Unopposed in Fall Election as Parties Announce Slates

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OLD SAYBROOK — First Selectman Carl Fortuna will be running for re-election unopposed in November, according to the candidate rosters that Old Saybrook Democrats and Republicans released earlier this week. John O’Brien, chair of the Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee, said it was difficult to find someone to challenge Fortuna because of the current first selectman’s record for keeping taxes low in the town.  “It’s a very difficult preposition … running against someone who has maintained taxes at a pretty level base,” said O’Brien.  Mark Caldarella, chair of the Republican Town Committee, said Fortuna had brought the town into “strong

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Bobby Sanchez Makes a Case for his Election as Mayor of New Britain

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State Rep. Bobby Sanchez, D-New Britain, is challenging four-term incumbent Erin Stewart for mayor of New Britain this November. Sanchez has chaired the General Assembly’s Education Committee, and previously served on the New Britain Board of Education. Stewart won reelection handily, with 6,013 votes compared to Democrat Chris Porcher’s 3,592, and Independent Devione Tanksley’s 187.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Sanchez about why he’s running, and what his priorities would be if elected.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.  What inspired you to run for mayor?  I was born and raised in New Britain, and for four

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Parties Announce Candidates for Election in Clinton

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CLINTON — The Democratic, Republican, and Green Parties have officially announced their municipal slates for this fall’s local elections, led by nominees for three open Town Council seats.  The slates are led by candidates for open Town Council seats, for which Democrats endorsed Chris Passante, Paul Gebauer, and Carrie Allen. Republicans put up Tom Hollinger, and the Green Party nominated Eric Bergman. Bergman said he was “happy with the slate,” and glad to have the opportunity to afford voters “some additional options beyond a Democrat or Republican.”  Republican Town Committee Chair James Staunton called it “the RTC’s best slate in

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Scott Jezek Makes a Case for East Haddam First Selectman

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Scott Jezek, an East-Haddam-based attorney, is the Democratic candidate for first selectman, competing against State Rep. Irene Haines, the Republican candidate, who currently represents Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton at the State Capitol. The Connecticut Examiner sat down with Jezek to talk about what inspired his run, what differentiates him from his opponent, and what his priorities would be in office.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.  What inspired your run for first selectman?  I’m a lifelong East Haddam resident. I have a long history with the East Haddam Lions Club, a service organization I’ve been a

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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

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Griswold and Matt Ward Make Run in Old Lyme, Slate For Democrats Not Announced

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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

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