Prospect Democrats endorse slate

PROSPECT — The Prospect Democratic Town Committee’s endorsed slate of candidates for the November municipal election includes political veterans and newcomers, but not a challenger for the mayor’s seat.

The committee endorsed candidates at a July 18 caucus. Committee Chairman Betty Bajek said no one stepped forward to run for mayor, a position Republican Mayor Robert Chatfield has held for 21 straight terms.

Bajek said challenging a sitting mayor who has been in office for 42 years is hard to overcome, adding Chatfield is well-respected and has a large base of supporters.

The committee backed a full slate of candidates to run for Town Council. One party can hold up to five seats on the nine-member council, which is presently controlled by Republicans.

Incumbent council members Larry Fitzgerald, Theresa Cocchiola Graveline and Patricia Sullivan Geary received the endorsement to run for re-election. The committee also nominated newcomers Daniel J. Moore and Paul T. Murray for the council.

Incumbent council member Carla Erickson-Perugini did not seek re-election, Bajek said.

The committee endorsed Kristen Cicchetti to challenge for a seat on the Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees public schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Each town has four seats on the board. This year, two of Prospect’s seats are up for election. The committee didn’t endorse a second candidate for the school board.

The committee backed Elaine Melchionne for town clerk, Elizabeth Bartolucci for tax collector and Michael McInerney for town treasurer. The three positions are held by Republicans.

For Planning and Zoning Commission, the committee endorsed E. Gil Graveline, who chairs the commission, Ryan P. Russell and Gregory Ploski. David Michaud and Carl L. Graveline received the nod to run for Zoning Board of Appeals, and the committee backed Peter E. Blinstrubus for Board of Assessment Appeals.

Bajek said the Democratic candidates embody honesty, compassion and integrity, and inspire trust and confidence in their leadership. She said they offer respected differing opinions to the challenges facing the towns.

“We offer the town some excellent choices,” she said.