Wilton election races shape up
WILTON — With Connecticut under stay-at-home and social distancing rules, Democrats and Republicans held virtual state nominating conventions in May for the 2020 election.
All incumbents, except one, face challengers in the upcoming November election.
4th Congressional District
U.S. House of Representative
Incumbent Democrat Jim Himes of Greenwich is seeking a seventh term in office. He has held the seat since 2009 after beating then-Republican incumbent Chris Shays in 2008.
Himes is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, serves as the Chair of the Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research (STAR) Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and is Chair Emeritus of the New Democrat Coalition.
He is being challenged by Norwalk resident Jonathan Riddle who won the Republican nomination with 97 delegate votes of 185 cast at the GOP convention.
Riddle works as a director for Altium, a financial consulting and wealth management firm in Purchase, N.Y.
“Thank you very much for the support,” Riddle said, addressing the convention via video conference from his home. “I’m thoroughly excited to represent the 4th district. We’re going to work diligently to unseat Jim Himes.”
26th District State Senate
Democrat Will Haskell is running for a second term, winning the nomination unanimously by 65 delegates at the convention.
The 26th State Senate District is comprised of seven Connecticut towns — all of Redding, Ridgefield and Wilton and parts of Bethel, New Canaan, Weston and Westport.
In his acceptance speech, Haskell said, “In the absence of federal leadership during this pandemic, it's more important than ever that our state government is guided by science, by democratic principles, and by a belief that government is a means of lifting people up instead of tearing them down.”
Haskell is being challenged by Kim Healy of Wilton who won the Republican nomination at the GOP convention.
Healy is a certified public accountant and a longtime volunteer in the Wilton community.
She accepted the nomination saying, “With the right leadership, I am confident we can turn things around and restore hope in Connecticut for the next generation.”
Healy was nominated by Judith Freedman, former state senator from the 26th District, and seconded by William Lalor of Wilton. “I am proud to offer my enthusiastic endorsement of Kim Healy,” Lalor said. “She is a breath of fresh air who offers voters the important perspectives of a mother and community volunteer who has been a business professional. She will work hard to be an authentic advocate for her constituents.”
143rd District State House
With Republican incumbent Gail Lavielle of Wilton opting not to run for reelection as state representative, the seat is up for grabs.
The 143rd district represents parts of Wilton, Norwalk, and Westport.
Patrizia Zucaro, an attorney from Westport, unanimously won the Republican nomination at the convention. She was nominated by Lavielle, and seconded by former Norwalk Common Council member Shannon O’Toole-Giandurco and Westport Second Selectwoman Jen Tooker.
Following her nomination, Zucaro said on her Facebook page, “It will be an honor to serve the residents of the 143rd district and maintain their voice in Hartford. My campaign will be focused on the needs and wants of the residents in the 143rd. If you live in the district feel free to reach out to me any time. I am here for you.”
Stephanie Thomas of Norwalk won unanimous endorsement from the Democrats.
Thomas is founder and president of Stetwin Consulting, a Norwalk-based small business that provides fund-raising and events expertise to nonprofits. She’s a Norwalk Democratic Town Committee member and serves on the Norwalk Zoning Commission.
This is Thomas’s second run for the 143rd district seat. She was unsuccessful in a close race two years ago to unseat Lavielle, losing by 384 votes, 6,105 to 5,721.
Victoria Rossi of Wilton nominated Thomas at the convention and Jennifer Balliet of Norwalk seconded. “It is rare that you meet a candidate as special as Stephanie Thomas… She has strong moral values and has devoted her life to helping others in her nonprofit work,” Rossi said.
Accepting the nomination, Thomas said, “The legislature will undoubtedly have a lot of challenges coming up as we negotiate decreased revenues and try to figure out how to meet the budget cuts that we know are coming. But if we don’t invest in our people, we will not thrive moving forward.”
125th District State House
Republican incumbent Tom O’Dea of New Canaan was nominated for a fifth term as state Representative for the 125th House District, which encompasses New Canaan and part of Wilton.
The Democrats did not endorse a candidate for the seat.
“I am extremely honored and appreciative for the unanimous endorsement to run again for State Representative of the 125th Assembly District. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life serving New Canaan and Wilton for the past eight years,” he said on Facebook.
He added, “I am also extremely proud of the fact that I have never taken a penny of your tax money from the citizens elections program, saving about $150,000 of your tax dollars. These are difficult times and I promise to continue to work diligently to be your voice in Hartford.
Registrars of Voters
Also on the ballot will be a vote for the Wilton Registrar of Voters.
Karen D. Birck is running on the Democratic line, and Annalisa R. Stravato is running on the Republican line. They are uncontested.
Both were endorsed by their respective parties and neither faced any opposition at the town committee meeting that nominated them.