Wilton Democratic Town Committee announces endorsements

WILTON — The Wilton Democratic Town Committee recently endorsed a slate of candidates for this coming election cycle.

The group is backing state Rep. Stephanie Thomas for Secretary of the State, Ceci Maher for the state’s 26th Senate District, Keith Denning for the 42nd State Assembly District and Judge Douglas Stern to be re-elected to probate court, Wilton DTC Chair Tom Dubin said.

Only Thomas is facing a Democratic challenger..

Maher and Denning are both Wilton residents and have served as elected officials on town boards. Thomas represents a portion of Wilton in her district, which also includes Westport and Norwalk, where she lives.

“Maher is a powerhouse” who can be “tough but always genuine,” DTC Vice Chair Vicki Rossi said in a release, referencing Maher’s history on the Wilton Board of Finance. “She has dedicated her life to nonprofits and helping people. She has spark, passion and wit.”

Maher is currently unopposed on the Democratic ticket after two Westport candidates dropped out. Former state Sen. Toni Boucher, a Republican, recently announced her candidacy.

Rossi and Dubin credit Maher as someone who understands “the power of empathy and collaboration,” since she’s served as CEO for Person to Person for 14 years and is involved in a number of other nonprofit endeavors.

Rossi admitted that Maher would have “big shoes to fill” following Will Haskell, who is not running for reelection in order to pursue law school, “but she is the right person to be our next state senator.”

Denning most recently ran for Wilton Board of Selectmen last year. While he was unsuccessful in his campaign, he has served on the town Board of Zoning Appeals. He formerly served as a chief nurse anesthetist at two hospitals in the Cincinnati metropolitan area before moving to Wilton in 2017.

While Denning is running on the Democratic ticket, Wilton Selectwoman Kim Healy will be running for the district as a Republican.

“Keith has an incredible ability to connect with and understand people regardless of their political affiliation, social status or economic status,” said selectman Ross Tartell. “He has used his talents as a nurse anesthetist all over the world as part of Operation Smile, and to resettle refugees and help the economically disadvantaged. Because of his capacity to understand others and his ability to do an enormous amount of work, he will be a great state representative (for) the 42nd District in Hartford.”

Both Dubin and Rossi praised Thomas’ work ethic and priorities.

“Stephanie has passion and works harder than anyone I know, always with a smile,” Rossi said. “Nothing is ever too much. Her number one priority has always been voting rights and equal accessibility. Stephanie is the right person for the right time when access to voting is such a major issue.”

Thomas will seek the office that is to be vacated by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. City of New Haven Director of Health Maritza Bond is also running in the Democratic primary.

Dubin also lauded Stern’s work, noting his “knowledge, temperament and work ethic” to “manage the court exceedingly well,” adding that Wilton and Norwalk would be “lucky to have him for another term.”