DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION – SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
Only Registered Democrats can vote in these primaries on September 12, 2023. There is no election day voter registration because they are primary elections. Polls are open from 6am-8pm.
1199 Endorsed Primary Candidates
State Senator John Fonfara for Mayor of Hartford – John Fonfara grew up in Hartford’s South End and has been a Legislator representing Hartford residents for 34 years. He is currently the Senate Chair of the Finance, Revenue, & Bonding Committee and in that role has helped to push 1199’s fight for more funding at the state level into the spotlight. He is running in a crowded primary to be Mayor of Hartford.
GENERAL ELECTION – NOVEMBER 7, 2023
All voters, regardless of party, can vote in this election. There is also election day voter registration that is usually held at the town/municipality’s registrar of voters office. Polls are open from 6am-8pm.
1199 Endorsed General Election Candidates
Thomas Finnucan for Board of Aldermen Ward 3 – Thomas Finnucan is a lifelong resident of Ansonia and Ward 3. He is also a CSEA SEIU Local 2001, a sister union of 1199. He has 45 years of experience in criminal justice and will prioritize safe communities, transparency in government, and investment in Ansonia’s residents through support of policies that protect and invest in working people‘s infrastructure.
Rohan Brown for Board of Aldermen, Ward 4 – Rohan Brown has been a resident of Ansonia for 5 years. He currently works for the State of Connecticut in the Department of Social Services and is an Executive Board Member of AFSCME Council 4 Local 714, where he has been a member for the last 10 years. His top three priorities are: 1) to properly fund Ansonia’s schools, 2) to ensure that all city funds are being used appropriately; and 3) to ensure that city services – like the sewer system and trash pickup – are maintained properly.
Rosemarie Huggins, Running for Board of Aldermen, Ward 5 – Rosemarie Huggins has always had a heart to serve. She grew up in poverty stricken areas of NYC, and witnessed how areas of government fail people. She knows all too well how poor education, a lack of affordable health care, and police brutality have hurt our communities, and is running for Ansonia’s Board of Aldermen so that she can demand justice for Ansonia’s residents. She is a volunteer at her town’s local food bank, a part of the love on wheels movement, and is a member of Moms Demand Action Against Guns.
Stevie Bobbitt, Running for Board of Aldermen, Ward 5 – Stevie Bobbitt is an electrician and a past member of the United Teacher’s Union in NYC. He serves his community through his church, a team called love on wheels. He believes that workers and unions play a big role in the community and he wants to make sure that workers have a voice in town government. He will prioritize fiscal responsibility, affordable housing, and fully funding the education system in Ansonia if elected.
Daniel Stahl, Running for Board of Aldermen, Ward 6 – Daniel Stahl is a recent transplant in Ansonia Connecticut. He is excited to be running for Board of Aldermen. He has spent over thirty years in the retirement business and has expertise in: calculations and actuarial functions; systems development and administration; investment advice and analysis and plan design and compliance. He will work with his other Board of Aldermen colleagues to fight for workers at the municipal level.
City Councilman Tyler Mack – Tyler Mack is running for his 2nd term as a Bridgeport City Councilman. He is a graduate of Bridgeport schools. He currently serves as the Outreach Manager to Congressman Jim Himes. Mack’s political accomplishments as a city councilman include the revamping of the Fair Rent and Fair Housing Commissions for the City of Bridgeport, and he centers investment in the education system, and infrastructure.
A. Fiona Pearson for Town Council At-Large – A. Fiona Pearson is a Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University and is currently serving as Chair of her Department and as a member of CCSU’s Budget and Planning Committee. She is an active member of CSU-AAUP and has spent the last year engaged with Recovery for All’s efforts to bring a moral budget to Connecticut – including joining us on the picket line this spring. Locally, she currently serves on her town’s Parks and Recreation Commission, and in 2020 was appointed to Cheshire’s Sustainability Team. All of her work demonstrates her commitment to grass-roots coalition building to empower people to thrive in their communities. She believes that Connecticut needs more pro-labor voices in our historically conservative communities, and she is willing to be that voice in Cheshire. She says she is still learning, but is an active voice that we can depend on to support labor and advocate for a more equitable state budget.
Patricia Cramer for Town Council District 4 – Patricia Cramer has been an active Cheshire community member for seven years and is a board member of the local Democratic Town Committee. She believes there is a true lack of representation both for Democrats and women on the current town council. She made her decision to run for town council because of the town’s recent decision to remove the pride flag during pride month from Cheshire’s youth center. She currently works as a legislative clerk in Hartford and lives in Cheshire with her son.
James Demetriades for Mayor – James was first elected to the Town Council in 2017 at the age of 24. Since then, he has been a leader on the Council for transparency and accessibility. He has served as the Liaison to the LGBTQ + Committee, Planning and Zoning Committee, Committee to Support People with Disabilities and the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. He has also been involved with organizations like the Cromwell Creative District (chairperson from 2019-2022), the Cromwell Arts Alliance (Member), the Cromwell Outboard Association, and Cromwell Children’s Coalition. By day, he is a labor lawyer and is a trained mediator and negotiator and has just become an 1199 PCA and member!
CSEA member Bernie Dennler for First Selectman – Bernie Dennler is a lifelong resident of Colchester and a CSEA union member. He works for the municipal government in Lebanon as the Office Manager to the First Selectman where he manages the day-to-day operations of that town. He has also served on Colchester’s Economic Development Commission, as vice-chair of their Board of Finance, and is currently serving on the Public Safety Committee.
Michele Wyatt for re-election as Tax Collector – Michele Wyatt was appointed tax collector in March 2015 and has served as the elected Tax Collector ever since. She has 9 years of banking experience, 10 years in accounts payables and receivables and together 30 years of Customer service. She is a Certified Connecticut Municipal Collector (CCMC) as well as a Certified Connecticut Municipal Official (CCMO).
Sean Gillespie for Treasurer – Sean Gillespie has 20 years of experience with IT systems design, specifically relating to Financial systems and Medical records. His parents were both long-time educators and union members, and his wife has been a union member for the majority of her professional career. He understands how he has greatly benefited from the work of unions throughout the course of his life and he respects the work Unions do because he has seen first hand how unions fight for the rights of workers, and how we have been able to negotiate fair compensation packages across the board for our members.
Gayle Furman for re-election as Town Clerk – Gayle Furman has been Colchester’s town clerk for the past nine years. She truly believes in the benefit of unions. She was previously a paraprofessional and was president of her local union.
Krista Kardys for the Board of Assessment Appeals – Krista Kardys is a first time candidate running for the Board of Assessment Appeals. She is a nurse and admires the support that 1199 has provided to frontline workers in healthcare facilities. If she is elected, her top priority is to continue to be an advocate for the citizens in Colchester.
Rosemary Coyle for re-election to the Board of Selectmen – Rosemary Coyle was President of the Connecticut Education Association for 6 years. She has sat on Colchester’s Board of Selectmen from 2007 to the present, and as a past union leader, she understands the important role that unions play on both issues impacting municipalities and at the state level. Her top priorities are: Ensuring that the education system has the resources necessary to educate our children; Building a senior center in Colchester; And improving Colchester’s tax base and growing the revenue side of the budget.
Denise Turner for re-election to the Board of Selectmen – Denise Turner is currently completing a second term on the Board of Selectmen and running for re-election. She is a former member of 1199 (2017-2020) and has been endorsed in the past. She hopes to see the new senior center through to completion, increase affordable housing in Colchester, and hopes to help increase the tax base with more economic development.
Dave Koji for Board of Selectmen – Dave Koji has previously chaired two town committees, has been a local business owner, and is an active volunteer in Colchester. He is pro-union and believes employees should have a voice in negotiations and fair practices at work. He also believes workers should be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Karen Belding for Board of Finance – Karen Belding has lived in Colchester for over 14 years along with her husband and three daughters. She is an active volunteer in her community: She is the President of the Board of the Colchester Baseball and Softball League; Coaches T-ball and softball teams; Directing the St. Andrew church youth orchestra; and she participates in organizations such as Project Graduation and St. Andrew’s Soup Kitchen. She credits her motivation for running in Colchester with this past year’s town and school budget process in which she was a very active participant and saw firsthand how the needs of Colchester’s students, teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school staff were not properly considered in the decisions being made.
Scott Chapman for Board of Finance – Scott Chapman is running for the Board of Finance. If elected, he hopes to apply over twenty years of business, financial, military and entrepreneurial experience as a business owner in Colchester to his new role on the Board of Finance. He is critically aware of the importance of unions, particularly SEIU’s importance in protecting workers in service industries and will stand up for SEIU union members from his community all the way to Hartford.
Christopher Rivers for re-election to the Board of Education – Chris Rivers has been on the Board of Education for the last two years leading the improvements seen in Colchester’s school district. Chris is a team player and utilizes his background as an Engineer, Army officer, data scientist, diplomat, and consultant in his work on the Board of Education. In 2022, District 1199 endorsed Chris in his run for State Representative.
Stefanie Tracey-Calash for Board of Education – Stefanie is a first-time candidate for Board of Education in Colchester and recognizes the critical role unions and their members play in ensuring that municipalities operate with working families in mind. Stefanie’s professional career paired with her experience as a Colchester community member, tax payer, volunteer, and parent of preschoolers, makes her the best candidate and potential new addition to our BOE this year.
Michelle Millington for Board of Education -Michelle Millington is a first time candidate running for Board of Education in Colchester. She has been in the social services field for over 20 years, and much of her professional experience has involved helping families and children navigate educational challenges by providing or recommending services to ensure a child can receive their best educational experience possible. She is a 15 year union member and state employee, and understands how important unions are for our families.
Roberto Alves for Mayor – Roberto Alves emigrated from Brazil when he was 5. He grew up in Danbury, attended Danbury public schools and is now raising his family there. His father was a member of CEUI and worked three jobs while his mom worked odd jobs while he was growing up. His main priorities are to fund Danbury schools, create good-paying jobs, and address Danbury’s infrastructure.
Laurie Sweet for re-election to Legislative Council At-Large – Laurie Sweet is finishing her second year of her first term on Hamden’s Legislative Council. She wants to partner with SEIU to connect with local workers and pass legislation to address the issues that are most important to us. Her top three priorities are: 1) Work with local tenant leaders to ensure that Hamden’s Fair Rent Commission is following the amendments that were passed at the beginning of this year; 2) Write an ordinance to create a CRB (civilian review board) for Hamden and 3) Pass a local towing ordinance to ban predatory towing practices for renters.
Abdul Osmanu for re-election to the Legislative Council District 3 – Abdul Osmanu is the current elected councilman for Hamden’s 3rd District. Headed into his second term he wants to reimagine local government and its capacity to advance the interests of working class people in the town, community and beyond. Councilman Osmanu thinks that wherever injustice has existed in our society, labor in some way or shape has found itself in the battle and on the side of justice and so he is honored to be endorsed by 1199.
City Council – Working Families Party Slate
Josh Mitchom – Josh has worked with the Connecticut Public Defenders for ten years, representing parents and children in DCF cases and he is a proud member of AFSCME Local 381. Since being elected to Hartford City Council in 2019, Josh has shown himself to be a tireless, outspoken advocate for workers, tenants, and immigrants. Besides his Council and Public Defender work, he helped found the Hartford Deportation Defense Group.
Pastor Alexander Thomas for City Council – Alexander grew up on Vine Street in the North End, attended Hartford Public Schools, and has been active in community organizations such as Hartford City Mission, the Hartford Artists Collective, & the Wilson-Gray YMCA. He is currently the Associate Pastor at South Church in Hartford.
Tiana Hercules for City Council – Tiana is a criminal defense lawyer and has also practiced in the areas of immigration, family law, and civil litigation. Tiana has served on several non-profit boards including Mutual Housing of Greater Hartford, NINA, Girls for Technology, and the Board of Deacons at Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
Jay Moran for re-election to Mayor – Jay Moran has been the Mayor of Manchester the last 9 years. He believes that Unions and Manchester Democrats have a similar vision and mission to support equity and inclusion. He wants to continue to develop Manchester’s downtown including building a new library and as Manchester grows, he will work with the Board of Directors to pass budgets that support services and programs to meet these growing needs.
Pamela Floyd Cranford for re-election to Board of Directors – Pamela Floyd Cranford is running for re-election to the Manchester Board of Directors. She is a retired AFSCME member and is now a retired SEIU member. She wants to continue helping families have a better quality of life in Manchester. In her previous terms, she has voted for livable wages for companies that do business in Manchester and she supported union labor for companies seeking to do business in Manchester.
Sarah Jones for re-election to Board of Directors – Sarah Jones is running for a fifth term on the Board of Directors. She has deep knowledge of the budget process and has worked over previous terms to push local government to be responsive to residents and to be forward looking anticipating needs. SEIU is an important labor Union that represents many workers who live in our community and who benefit from quality jobs and benefits.
Jerald Lentini for Board of Directors – Jared Lentini is running for his first time on the Board of Directors. He has served on the Charter Revision Commission, the Redevelopment Agency, and as Head Moderator in Manchester’s last elections. He is a lawyer, an MBA candidate, a member of several boards and commissions and a parent in Manchester. He wants to stand alongside the women and men of the Labor Movement so that Manchester can be an example for the entire region in how to put working families first.
Jessee Muniz Poland for re-election to the Board of Directors – This will be Jessee Muniz Poland’s second term running and she is excited to continue working on some amazing initiatives like Manchester’s pilot “baby box” for every birthing/adoptive parent in town to assist with things such as diapers, bedding, books, etc. She feels that Unions are the cornerstone of betterment in the workplace and better workplaces and working conditions without the fear of retaliation allows people to have a better quality of life.
Dennis Schain for re-election to the Board of Directors – Dennis Schain is seeking his third term on Manchester’s Board of Directors. In his time on the board, he has been very engaged in many local issues and development and adoption of Manchester’s town budget. He was a local news reporter and later served in a communications role in state government. He strongly supports the goals of SEIU and organized labor across the country. He feels that Unions helped build and strengthen our nation and helped to create more comfortable lives for working people through higher wages and health and retirement benefits. He also believes that Unions have been a strong force for civil rights, equal rights for all, and social justice and wants to continue to work together for the betterment of Manchester.
Heather Doucette for Board of Education – Heather Doucette has been a resident of Manchester for over 20 years. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology from Barnard College and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Central Connecticut State University. She has worked in the field of education for 25 years. She wants to serve on the Board to ensure that every child in Manchester is afforded access to the excellent educational opportunities that she knows our school system can provide. She views labor as an important partner in the effort to provide the highest quality of education possible to Manchester’s children and believes whole-heartedly in the practice of collective bargaining and other mechanisms that unions afford to protect workers’ rights.
David Eisenthal for re-election to Board of Education – David Eisenthal is an incumbent member of the Manchester Board of Education and has experience advocating strongly for the interests of students, teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school staff. His advocacy has been particularly focused on providing the financial resources that the District needs to do its job educating the children of Manchester.
Beth Mix for re-election to the Board of Education – Beth Mix has 25 years of experience working with youth and families in her community as a youth worker for the Manchester Youth Service Bureau. In October 2021, she was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education, and since then says she has learned much serving out that term. She was a proud municipal union member (and leader in her union) for 25 years and knows that labor unions are critical to the fight for equity among working people.
Kwasi Ntem-Mensah for re-election to Board of Education – Kwasi Ntem-Mensah was appointed to fill a seat made vacant by the late Darryl Thames. He has been an advocate for parents starting from his time served on the Policy Council of the Manchester Preschool. He has continued and still does serve as a volunteer at community events. He uses his position to champion the role of Fathers in helping children grow and has been working with the help of other board members to center this.
Chad Cardillo for City Council At-Large – Chad Cardillo has previously been elected to the Meriden City Council, though he does not currently sit on the Council. He is a teacher, a volunteer, and a labor leader in his AFT local. He was an appointed City Council member for about 7 months in 2021, and has been a member of multiple nonprofit boards over the years. He believes in the power of collective action to affect change and knows that SEIU is known for doing the work to make change happen – not just when it’s politically expedient or feels good. His mother was an SEIU member and instilled in him the idea that when we work together, we’re stronger together.
Nickimmy Hayes for Board of Education – Nickimmy Hayes has been a Union Organizer for the past 20 years with the American Federation of Teachers of Connecticut. She is currently running for Meriden’s Board of Education. She is a mother of four Meriden public school students but she is also the Education Chair and Vice President of the Meriden/Wallingford NAACP. She has helped many BIPOC parents advocate for the services their children were in need of. She has also been working alongside Teachers, Paraeducators, and other school related personnel for the past 20 years and would be an ally for them if elected. One of her key priorities is promoting diversity and inclusivity within our schools. She is dedicated to advocating for the recruitment and retention of Black and Latino educators, as well as championing an equity-centered approach in all educational initiatives. She firmly believes that every student deserves equal access to a high-quality education.
Mayor Ben Florsheim – Ben Florsheim is running for his second term as mayor of Middletown. Florsheim supported 1199’s civil disobedience in front of the Governor’s Office calling for the restoration and expansion of services and has also helped support workers fighting for a union at Wadsworth Glen.
City Councilman and 1199 Executive Board Member Darnell Ford – Darnell Ford is running for his second term as a Middletown City Councilman. He is a Direct Care Worker for the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center. He is an 1199 Executive Board Member and he has been a strong advocate for workers’ rights. Darnell intends to ensure that families and children are provided care during the most vulnerable times of their lives by bridging the gaps in vital services and building a more equitable education system. He believes in fighting for economic and racial equity for Middletown residents.
Richard Lacourciere for Common Council, At-Large – Richard Lacourciere is a working class person who grew up in the city of New Britain and experienced the challenges of trying to pay his bills and keep a roof over his head and the toll that took on him. When he was able to join a union (AFT local 2407, Paraeducators), he saw how much better a workplace is with a union and how that better workplace led to a life that is not always on the brink of survival but one where he had time for himself and his community.
John McNamara for Common Council, Ward 4 – John McNamara has 30+ years of political and community involvement in New Britain. He is the former New Britain Democratic Town Chair, former Chair of the Building Commission (4 years) and was on the Board of Assessment Appeals (2 years). Professionally, he worked as institutional advancement director at Capital Community College and held similar positions at the University of Hartford. He has also served as a delegate and on the PAC committee of the Congress of CT Community Colleges (4Cs), SEIU Local 1973 and he is currently a member of CSEA Local 2001 retirees. He supports the Connecticut Recovery for All coalition and legislation to strengthen state and federal laws on workers’ rights and the right to organize.
Chris Anderson for Mayor – Chris Anderson is a husband, a father and former New Britain City Council member. He is currently the Democratic Town Committee Chair. His campaign is aligned with the values of working class people and he is running to do everything he can to make New Britain a better place to live for everyone.
Nate Simpson for Common Council, Ward 1 – Nate Simpson was born and raised in the district he is running in. He went to New Britain schools and grew up on New Britain roads. He understands what working families face in the city. He wants to center New Britain neighborhoods and invest in the policies they need, like: New Britain’s education system, tenant rights and housing, food security, and the rising cost of living.
Alisha Blake for Board of Education – Alisha Blake first ran in 2017 as the first candidate in the City to run on the Working Families Party line, as a WFP only candidate. She got within 100 votes of earning a seat that year and held the line moving forward to make it possible for candidates to continue running WFP in New London. She is currently running for Board of Education. She also is the only candidate running for the Board of Education – and 1 of only 2 candidates running across the board – who actually have children attending the public school system. She works for the Connecticut Employees Union Independent that is affiliated with the SEIU State Council. She deeply values the voices of our members and wants to work for what is important to them.
Jon Trister for Mayor – John Trister currently serves on the Newington Planning and Zoning Commission and the town’s standing Insurance Committee. He is pro-union and pro worker. Before going back to school for his degree, he spent years working in the service industry in retail and while he was unable to join a union, he says he understands the role of Unions in the benefits that would never have been offered if not for workers and Unions.
Mitch Page for Town Council – Mitch Page has lived in Newington since 1991 and has raised his four children in town. He credits Newington’s wonderful schools, park and recreation programs, and other town services as to why his sons have been successful in their careers. He has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1986 and he has served in various leadership roles on town committees, Boy Scouts, and in his church. He was a union member for over 20 years and as a result, he has a pension and fully supports unions.
Avgoustis “AJ” Tiniakos for Town Council – AJ has been a Newington resident for some years now and has an extensive background analyzing policy language. He and his fiance plan to spend the rest of their lives in Newington and he wants the residents of Newington to have the best resources available. He fully supports unions and the power that they give to the working people and will fight to ensure that unions are strong.
Kathy Gonzalez for Town Council- Kathy has been a resident of Newington for 25 years and has raised her children in her town. She decided to run for town council because she wants to make a positive change to Newington. She has been involved in many different organizations in town including being the PTO co-president; being a Board member for the Newington Knights football and cheer; being co-chair of the Newington relay for life with the American cancer society; and helping vets in Newington. She was and will always be an 1199 union member.
Amy DeVoe Perrotti for re-election to the Board of Education – Amy Perrotti has lived in Newington since 2006. She has two children currently attending Newington Schools and another on the way. She has been active in her community since her kids were little. She is active in her children’s school’s parent organization and she also volunteers with the Girl Scouts and the Newington Knights Cheer program. She believes that Union workers are the backbone of Newington. She fully supports the right to organize and recognizes the effect unions have had on the lives of all workers.
Meri Beatrice for Board of Education – Meri Beatrice is a longtime supporter of the Newington Public Schools, and her children are graduates. She believes that all children deserve a first class education and will work to support the teachers and staff of Newington’s public schools. She is an active community volunteer, having served as a Director of the Newington Education Foundation and as an officer of the Newington Lions Club. She is also currently serving as a member of the Newington Economic Development Commission.
Jessica Weaver for re-election to the Board of Education – Jessica Weaver is a lifelong Newington resident and a proud product of our Newington Public Schools. After graduating Newington High School, she went to UConn and eventually interned with Congressman John Larson’s Office in Washington DC, the CT Treasury, and the CT Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors and the CT Office of Early Childhood. She has served on the Board of Education since 2019 and in that capacity she has served on a number of Committees. She credits her grandfather – who was a proud state worker and always on the line with SEIU – with her support of labor. Her current position at the State is not union, but she knows that our union workers are the backbone of our Connecticut government and supports the incredible work union workers do for our towns and state.
Kaitlin Shake for re-election to Town Council, Ward 7 – In her two-terms, Councilwoman Kaitlyn Shake has accomplished a number of victories that benefit her district and all residents of Stratford: She has secured $1M in additional funding for Stratford Schools; In 2023 she negotiated and secured $100,000 for long overdue park improvements and upgrades to High Park; In 2022, she successfully negotiated to double the funding for the South End Flood study; and she helped to improve public safety measures through infrastructure improvements. She is a current union member and advocates for workers throughout the state in her time spent away from the Council.
Laurie Bajorek for Mayor – Laurie has lived in and loved the town of Vernon for years. She has a vision for how the community could be much better, and is running for Mayor to work with the elected officials to achieve common goals that support the best interest of the community. She wants Vernon-Rockville to be a town where every member – residents, employees, business owners, volunteers – feel seen, heard, respected, and supported. She is a labor union employee who sees the injustices faced by members daily, and wants to be the support they need in the role as Mayor.
Ole Kushner Hermanson for Town Council – Ole wants to focus on building community, infrastructure for the future and supporting the people who live and work in Vernon. As a member of the town council, he plans to champion the people who work for town government and ensure they have respect and dignity in the workplace. He believes that the town needs to be committed to becoming more diverse and that all members of the community are represented and heard. In his professional life, Ole has over 20 years experience in the labor movement – bringing people together and fighting to make improvements in collective places like the workplace. Organized Labor has been the center of his personal and professional life for a long time and he wants organized labor to be the center of his campaign.
Maryann Levesque for re-election to Town Council- Maryann has served on the Town Council for two terms and is going for her third in this election cycle. She has customer service experience as an Assessment Technician, Tax Collector and fire administrative assistant. Maryann has been a community volunteer with many of the local nonprofit organizations within Vernon, and believes in the SEIU values and message to support and uplift all workers.
Simone Sewell for Board of Education- Simone has extensive credentials as a candidate of the Board of Education, including a degree in Early Childhood Development and Child studies. Simone has dedicated her adult life to education and advocacy through programs like the Rockville YMCA Child Development center and the Vernon Public Schools by being a member of the school readiness committee. Simone says there are many communities in Vernon that are not represented in how the town is shaped. Simone has helped build that trust and respect with families and wants to continue to be a strong voice and communicator through keeping them updated on changes, resources, and events. Having a fresh perspective and open mind is one of the many reasons she’d be an asset to the BOE, as she sees the goal is not to change everything but to enhance and meet the growing needs of all Vernon residents.
Riley O’Connell for Mayor – Riley has spent his entire career in public service, including working in the antitrust criminal investigations unit of the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and as a Civil Affairs Specialist in the U.S. Army Reserves. Riley loves Wallingford and wants to work on changing the way it’s being run for the better. Riley wants to bring about the protection of the rights and interests of workers in Wallingford because town workers have faced a long record of retaliation against them, bad faith contract negotiations, and even attempts to deny these workers union representation. Riley feels that the residents of Wallingford deserve so much better, as do the dedicated employees that keep Wallingford running each and every day.
Nick Gauthier for re-election to the Representative Town Meeting, District 1 – Nick Gauthier is running for reelection to the Representative Town Meeting in the First District. Nick is a Waterford native and is a member of the Waterford Historical Society. He holds a Masters in Public Administration and is a labor activist and community organizer. As a Waterford native who was born, raised, and educated in Waterford, he pledges to continue fighting together to support any and all unionization, collective bargaining, strike and collective worker efforts locally. Additionally, he will continue to make the case to our state elected officials to increase painfully low wages and dramatically increase pay to any and all frontline workers. This would include the State of Connecticut or any public dollar employers.
Ursula Moreshead for Representative Town Meeting, District 1 – Ursula is a Union member and Delegate for SEIU District 1199. She has lived, and raised her sons in Waterford since 2005. She feels passionately about standing up for those whose voices are not always heard. Currently, she’s a member of the town’s Energy Task Force Committee, which was developed as a way to look at how to conserve energy in town buildings as well as ways to save taxpayers’ money. This inspired her to find ways to help residents voice their concerns and advocate for the environment. Ursula has highlighted that she wants members of the District she represents to feel safe and comfortable to work with law enforcement, and keep the town of Waterford safe. As a fellow 1199 member, she’s seen the dedication that the union has towards their members, and will not be afraid to stand up for what is right no matter the issue.
Mary Childs for re-election to Representative Town Meeting, District 2 – Having already served a two year term on the RTM, Mary found herself further committed to asking questions and requiring accountability from our elected town officials. She knows the inner workings of many of the departments in town and feels she can facilitate and improve communication within our community. As a member of both CEA for 27 years and AFT-CT concurrently for the past 12 years, Mary firmly trusts and believes in the power of unions to ensure safe workplaces, as well as maintaining and increasing pay for employees. If elected, she hopes to continue to support unionized workers within the town of Waterford.
Ronald Elkin for Representative Town Meeting, District 3 – After 40 years of working in the business industry and retiring due to Covid, Ronald decided to see if his experience might add a new perspective to town government. His goals are to put forth a logical, honest and open town government. He also vows to not let stagnant politics be the common issues in these spaces where he will stand with the residents as a Representative Town Meeting member.
Kathy Mullen-Kohl for re-election to Representative Town Meeting, District 3 – Kathy was appointed to the Personnel Review Board unanimously by the Representative Town Meeting as well as to the Economic Development Commission by our First Selectman. She has been devoted to helping improve Waterford and has not stopped that fight since 2021. Kathy has been involved with Waterford Democratic Town Committee Nominating Committee since the beginning of last year, and strives to make sure that Waterford chooses a progressive path forward. She sought out SEIU’s endorsement because she believes that for far too long public employees and service workers have been undermined by privatization and corporate lobbying. As a working class citizen and Dental Assistant, she’s dealt with scenarios that impact public health, and understands the importance of uplifting the workers that get the job done to provide the necessity of quality healthcare.
Laurie Wolfley for Board of Education – Laurie has been committed to supporting education in her community all of her adult life. She’s been certified to teach in CT public schools for 30 years and has taught everything from middle school to college. She has a long history of volunteering in the local community: She served on the Waterford Ethics Commission and Democratic Town Committee; On the board of the One Book One Region Program Committee; and as a Waterford Justice of the Peace. Laurie has extensive training in conducting civic dialogues and deliberations, including facilitating Public Conversations about difficult issues and more. She’s received awards for her dedicated work and is deeply committed to encouraging constructive conversations in the town of Waterford. Laurie believes that Waterford needs change, and that this can be accomplished through communication and collaboration when amplifying the concerns of members she represents.
Lawrence Bocchiere III for Board of Assessment Appeals – Lawrence is a member and representative of the working class through Local Union 195 Am Postal Workers Union APWU where he was the CT State Postal Workers Union President and the National Executive Board APWU NE Regional Coordinator. He runs a 4H Club at Beardsley Zoo for urban children and is the President Emeritus of the Well Spouse Association – a 501c3 – and believes that the working class needs to work together for the benefit of Wolcott.