The season of hope and promises is underway. With the announcement this spring that Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra will not seek re-election in November, four hopefuls began positioning themselves for the topmost town post.
A Republican, Mary Ann Jacob, Legislative Council chair, seeks support in her run for first selectman, partnered up with Legislative Council member Neil Chaudhary. Republican Selectman Will Rodgers puts forth his interest in the top town position, in the company of Republican Town Committee Chair Jeff Capeci. Andy Clure, yet another Republican and a member of the Board of Education, jumps into the fray, as well, having yet to announce a running mate.
The Republican contest could give local voters an interesting campaign season to which they may look forward, beginning with the Republican caucus on July 24. At that time, any endorsed RTC candidates could be challenged by contenders who were not endorsed. If two or more Republicans commit to a primary for any ballot position, the process moves forward to that event on September 12. Any primary race’s top GOP vote getter(s) will become the party’s official candidates on the ballot in November.
Currently, no other Democrats than a team-up of Police Commissioner Dan Rosenthal, who seeks to serve as the town’s first selectman, and Maureen Crick Owen have stepped forward.
The Democratic Town Committee is scheduled to announce its slate at the DTC caucus on July 20.
Let’s not rule out, as well, the opportunity for any unaffiliated voter or Independent candidate to ultimately end up on the ballot in November.
Local elections, unlike national or even state elections, have the benefit of residents being fairly familiar with those in the running. Every one of the current candidates for Newtown first selectman and selectmen are people who are active in many aspects of town life. They are neighbors, friends, and public servants. We see them as truly vested in our town.
This fall will bring a challenge to voters, precisely because these candidates all have a briefcase full of good works they have done for the town. Determining which combination is best prepared to lead Newtown will take close listening, watching, and learning in the upcoming weeks.
The Newtown Bee will continue to follow this election, sharing candidates’ further conversations online and in print as they reveal campaign platforms and reach out to the community.
It is also not too soon to announce that The Newtown Bee debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24. We will soon be soliciting questions from the public to be presented to debate participants that evening. We return to the tried and true format in October of first selectman candidates on stage, presented with submitted questions from the public. It is a late election season opportunity to meet these candidates, and hear answers to local concerns as each clarifies his/her position on pertinent matters. We look forward to providing readers with information to make an educated vote come November, and an exciting debate in October for all in attendance.