For the first time in 10 years, Wilton’s Democrats will have a candidate running for first selectman on election day, Nov. 3. Deborah McFadden, now a selectman, announced she is running for the top post on the steps of town hall Monday morning, June 29.
“I think Wilton deserves a choice,” she said, and “the winners will be the people of Wilton.”
McFadden will begin her campaign right away with a listening tour. Her first stop will be the town’s Fourth of July festivities. She also plans to go door-to-door to talk with Wiltonians. She said she will focus on is improving communication and increase citizen participation.
“One of the issues I want to work on is communication from town hall,” she said. “I do hear from citizens, they feel they are not being heard and that’s one of the reasons I want to do a listening tour. I want to hear them.”
McFadden’s other areas of concern include:
• Maintaining a proper balance between Wilton’s past history and values and the need for further economic development;
• More attention to the needs of senior citizens, including new programs. She would also like to see another task force in place to explore tax relief for seniors.
• Addressing the “delicate balance” of taxes and services.
McFadden is filling out the unexpired term of former Democratic selectman Ted Hoffstatter, a step, she said, was not intended as a springboard to running for first selectman.
“However since January two things have happened,” she said in her announcement. “First, I have discovered how much I love doing this work. There is a profound sense of satisfaction in serving the community. Second, I have had numerous people come to me — sometimes multiple times — asking me to run.”
She initially said no, but then turned to her family.
“We began to seriously discuss what it would look like if I ran. After much soul searching and with the support of my husband Jack and my son Joey, we agreed it was the right thing to do and this was the right time.”
McFadden acknowledged that Republicans outnumber Democrats in Wilton — although there are more unaffiliated voters — and said she would be an “underdog” if she is the Democratic nominee. A Democrat has not held the seat since 1973, when Philip Dilloway won in an upset.
But, she added, “I am not a sacrificial lamb. I am in it to win it.”
McFadden must now seek the nomination of the Democratic party. The Democratic Town Committee will meet July 7, and on July 22 the Democratic Caucus will take place. All registered Democrats may attend the caucus, where the party’s slate for all open seats will be selected.
McFadden has lived in Wilton almost 18 years. Her public service up to this point includes working in the mayor’s office in Salt Lake City, and she has served as a town constable, an elected position. She has also served as vice chair of the Democratic Town Committee since 2003. On the federal side, she has been a member of the Electoral College.
Pointing out it is still early in the election season, McFadden said she is still organizing her campaign. More information is available at www.wiltonfordeb.org.