Candidates named; primary possible

Both the Republican and Democratic town committees named their candidates on July 19 for this year’s municipal election on Nov. 7, but Republican voters may have a choice to make before then. That’s because RTC Chairman Al Alper has filed paperwork at Town Hall to be a primary candidate for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. He is seeking to run against Joshua Cole, who was named as one of two selectman candidates by the GOP, the other being incumbent Lori Bufano.

Alper needs to collect 210 verified signatures to qualify for the Sept. 12 primary date.

Alper did not respond to requests for comment. However, Town Clerk Lori Kaback said he had his name verified at her office on a nominating candidate petition form, which would be his way to the polls if he does not win the primary.

“He has until Aug. 9 to send his verified signatures to us,” Kaback said. It’s not a done deal yet. “All I can say is he took the paperwork,” she said.

The Democrats caucused at Comstock Community Center July 19 and named their committee chairman, Deborah McFadden, to run for the seat being vacated by Dick Dubow, who is term-limited.

McFadden is a former selectman who ran unsuccessfully for first selectman in 2015. She did not attend the Democratic caucus held at the Comstock Community Center, because of a family emergency, so there was no comment from her that night about her election plan, but she said in a statement July 20 she is impressed with all the Democrats endorsed that night.

“I am excited about the high caliber of our candidates being put forward by our caucus. They will serve Wilton well,” McFadden said.

McFadden has been involved in Wilton community affairs for 20 years, including several terms as town constable. She has served on the boards of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, the Wilton Security Council and Trackside Teen Center. She is an advocate for bipartisan cooperation in managing the town’s challenges. Prior to moving here, she served as an executive in the Mayor’s Office of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a former member of the Electoral College.

The remaining Democratic candidates are:

  • Board of Education — Deborah Low, former Wilton High School principal (1998-2004) and assistant superintendent of schools (2004-2007).

  • Board of Education — Gretchen Jeanes, consultant with Bright Power of New York, sales agent with William Raveis in Wilton, executive committee member of the Cider Mill PTA, and member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee.

  • Board of Finance — Richard Creeth, incumbent, former selectman, member of the Wilton Energy Commission.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission (four-year term) — Doris Knapp, incumbent, attorney.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission (four-year term) — Eric Fanwick, former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, senior systems analyst.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission (two-year term) — Bas Nabulsi, former commission member, attorney.

  • Zoning Board of Appeals — Tom Gunther, represents a tech company in networking and cloud space, member of Wilton Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

  • Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate — Jaclyn Coleman, real estate attorney.

  • Constable — Bo Mitchell, incumbent, former police commissioner, security expert.

  • Constable — Ernest Ricco, owner of Ricco Enterprises, a construction and property management firm and DTC member.


Republicans packed Room A of the town hall annex for their nominating session, also on July 19, but after naming a few candidates an executive session was called to discuss nominees for the Board of Education, Board of Selectmen and Planning and Zoning Commission.

RTC members and First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice were allowed to attend the executive session. Everyone else, including non-RTC-member Republicans, had to leave.

The session resulted in the nominations of Bufano and Cole as well as:

  • Board of Education — Glenn Hemmerle, incumbent, member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee.

  • Board of Education —  Andrea Preston, member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission — Marianne Gustafson, member of the Historic District and Historic Properties Commission.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission — Chris Pagliaro, architect.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission — Richard Tomasetti, incumbent, member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission — Sally Poundstone, incumbent.

  • Planning and Zoning Commission — Peter Shiue, incumbent.

Named before the executive session were:

Board of Finance — Jeff Rutishauser, incumbent, chair.

Board of Finance — Stewart Koenigsberg, retired G.E. Company officer.

Zoning Board of Appeals — Kenny Rhodes, presently an alternate on the board.

Zoning Board of Appeals alternate — Tracy Serpa, member of the Economic Development Commission.

Board of Assessment Appeals — Rudy Hoefling, member of Wilton Kiwanis Club.

Constable — Ray Tobiassen, member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee, Memorial Day Parade committee.

Constable — Warren Serenbetz, former Board of Finance chair.

Constable — Chris Gardner, incumbent since 1984.

Bufano is a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. She has worked in healthcare supply chain management.

Cole is currently chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a real estate and commercial finance attorney.

Alper is a former member of the Board of Finance. He owns a tech consulting business, Absolute Logic.