By Elio Gugiotti, Editor
BEACON FALLS — The Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee endorsed only four candidates to run for office in November at a caucus July 22 and none of them was a first selectman candidate.
That was by design, Chairman Michael Krenesky said.
Krenesky, who is also a selectman, said the committee is planning to align its campaign with a new political party, Beacon Falls First, which First Selectman Gerard Smith is forming. Together, he said, the two parties will run a full slate of candidates in November.
“We’ll have a full ticket, a full slate of candidates across both rows B and C (on the ballot) to which we think are probably the best choices, obviously, for the town going forward for the next two years,” Krenesky said.
Smith, who is unaffiliated, won the first selectman race in 2019 as a petitioning candidate. He will lead the ticket.
“I don’t believe in the two-party system, as evidence of what’s happening nationally, and I don’t want to see that same thing happen locally,” Smith said about forming the new party.
The Republican Town Committee endorsed Krenesky to run again for selectman.
The committee also backed incumbent Christine Arnold and newcomer Tiffany Lyga for the Region 16 Board of Education. The school board oversees public schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect. Each town gets four seats on the board. This year, two seats are up for election in each town.
Douglas Bousquet received the committee’s support to run for Board of Assessment Appeals.
Krenesky said the Beacon Falls First party will run candidates for Board of Finance, Library Board of Trustees and Zoning Board of Appeals.
Smith said last week he was still in the process of forming the party and will announce candidates once it’s all set. He said the state doesn’t make it easy for third party candidates.
“The establishment doesn’t like third party candidates,” he said.
Smith said he also reached out to Democrats about running together.
“I’m willing to work with anyone who wants to work together for the betterment of the town,” he said.
Krenesky said Smith’s win in 2019 as an unaffiliated candidate made it clear that people want diversity across candidates. He said with the way politics are in Washington, D.C., and at the state level, people are tired of the two-party system.
“So, having independent voices involved, with Gerry giving a new option for folks, it’s just the wave of the future,” he said. “I think people in other towns, the state and the federal government maybe should be watching Beacon Falls to see what happens.”