Finley running as write-in candidate


By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

PROSPECT — Taryn Finley’s run for mayor will be as a write-in candidate.

Finley, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate, submitted petitions to get on the ballot as a petitioning candidate but fell two valid signatures short of the required amount to do so.

The number of signatures petitioning candidates need to get on the ballot is 1% of the votes cast in the prior election for the office they’re seeking. In 2019, Mayor Robert Chatfield, who ran unopposed, received 2,105 votes.

Finley said not being from a political background, she wasn’t aware, or made aware, that she was entitled to a copy of the voter registration to verify signatures before submitting the petition. The only other options for Finley, who owns American Forged Pub in Naugatuck and The Prospect Pages, were to run as a write-in candidate or not run at all.

“It’s the only option I have, that and quitting, and I won’t be doing that anytime soon,” Finley said about being a write-in candidate. “I’ll never give up on this town.”

Finley and Town Council member Kevin O’Leary, a Democrat, are challenging Chatfield, a Republican.

O’Leary received the Democratic Town Committee’s endorsement. He is an attorney and partner with the firm Dolan Divorce Lawyers in New Haven. He has served on the council since February, when he was appointed to fill the remainder of former council member Paul Murray’s term through November.

Chatfield, who has held the mayor’s seat since he was first elected in 1977, was endorsed by the Republican Town Committee to run for a 23rd consecutive term.

Chatfield and O’Leary will top the ticket for their respective parties on the ballot.

The names of write-in candidates do not appear on the ballot. Voters must write in a candidate’s name on the ballot to vote for them, and write-in candidates must register with the Secretary of the State’s office. The deadline to register is Oct. 19. Finley said she was going to submit her paperwork for her write-in candidacy last week.