Picnic moves election season forward

Some 75 people turned out for the Democratic Town Committee’s annual picnic and heard Congressman Jim Himes (D-4th) thank them for their effort. “I know Wilton is not the easiest town in which to be a Democrat,” he said.

Himes was joined as a guest of the party by state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) and Jonathan Harris, a former commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection who is weighing a run for governor.

In addition, a number of Democrats running for local offices took the opportunity to introduce themselves including:

  • DTC Chair Deborah McFadden — Board of Selectmen;

  • Gretchen Jeanes — Board of Education;

  • Deborah Low — Board of Education;

  • Tom Gunther — Zoning Board of Appeals;

  • Richard Creeth — Board of Finance;

  • Eric Fanwick — Planning and Zoning Commission.

Himes entertained the audience with his take on recent events in the nation’s capital. He admitted to being an intense critic of President Donald Trump, not as a Republican, “but this president is somebody who persistently fails to live up to the values that we cherish as Democrats but that we also think of as fundamental American values of inclusion of decency of outreach of working together.

“But it’s a weird moment because this week I went back to Washington anticipating four weeks of dysfunction and fighting and government shutdown threats and putting at risk the United States credit rating over the debt ceiling and three months for aid to Houston — and the President as you saw said, ‘Hey, I’m not even talking to Ryan and McConnell, I’m doing a deal with Pelosi and Schumer,’” he said with a laugh.

“So, my head was spinning, and I thank the President to his credit, and I’ve been such a harsh critic I have to give credit where it’s due, I think he looked at the four weeks of chaos and dysfunction that McConnell and Ryan were going to offer up over these issues and said, ‘Let’s just get this done.’ That makes me just a little bit hopeful that maybe he’ll do what he said he would do, which is support DACA, do what he said he would do and put forward a major infrastructure plan that we all need and a whole bunch of other things.”

But he warned not to get complacent and said Democrats must not lose sight of the fact America is at its greatest when people reach out to one another as a community.

He stressed the importance of winning local races, a challenge reiterated by Duff.

“Municipal races are really so important,” he said as the bedrock for moving up to state and national levels.