Graveline gets nod for mayoral run

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Democrat Theresa Cocchiola-Graveline addresses the Prospect Democratic Town Committee Tuesday after receiving the endorsement to run for mayor. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Democrat Theresa Cocchiola-Graveline addresses the Prospect Democratic Town Committee Tuesday after receiving the endorsement to run for mayor. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

PROSPECT — After 22 years on the Town Council, Democrat Theresa Cocchiola-Graveline will lead her party’s ticket in the November election.

The Democratic Town Committee endorsed a full slate of candidates for the November election Tuesday at the Prospect Library with Cocchiola-Graveline, 56, topping the ticket as the committee’s mayor candidate.

“This is a wonderful opportunity. Everyone on this slate is committed to doing their very best for the people of this town,” Cocchiola-Graveline said. “That’s really what it’s all about. That’s why we’re here. That’s why we do this because life in this town matters to us.”

Cocchiola-Graveline said she intends to work on economic development in town and focus on expanding the tax base.

“I believe it’s the only way we’re going to be able to lessen our tax burden,” she said.

Cocchiola-Graveline said she also wants to modernize town government. She said she wants to make information more readily available so people can get involved in government, and understand what’s happening in town government.

“She’s our lighthouse,” Democratic Town Committee Chair Eileen Cranney said of Cocchiola-Graveline. “She has the political experience of 22 years in town, a resident in town, a sharp business person, ready on all fronts for the next chapter.”

Cocchiola-Graveline is seeking to unseat Republican Mayor Robert Chatfield, who has held the mayor’s seat since 1977. Chatfield has announced he’s running for re-election. The Republican Town Committee is expected to endorse Chatfield and it’s the rest of its slate at a caucus Wednesday.

The Democratic Town Committee endorsed a full slate of candidates to run for office.

The committee endorsed incumbents Carl Graveline, Carla Perugini-Erickson and Patricia Geary, as well as Larry Fitzgerald and Donald Pomeroy to run for Town Council. The council has nine seats and one political party can hold up to five.

Gena Eyre Mann and Carolyn Witkowski were endorsed to run for the Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect.

The Region 16 Board of Education has eight members, four from each town. Two seats are up for grabs every municipal election in each town. Mann and Witkowski are running for the seats currently held by Republicans Donna Cullen and Roxann Vaillancourt.

Linda Hennessy was endorsed for town clerk. Michael McInerney and Elizabeth Bartolucci were backed for town treasurer and tax collector, respectively.

Peter Blinstrubas and Matthew Fazo were endorsed for the Board of Assessment Appeals. E. Gil Graveline, Gregory Ploski and Kenneth Kemp were backed for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Candidates for the Zoning Board of Appeals are David Michaud and Carl Montagano.

Cranney said the town committee has made a lot of progress in recent years. The committee had a full slate a month ago, she said, is organized, has done solid fundraising and is ready for the election.

“We expect to continue all that, with all the momentum we have, to Nov. 3,” Cranney said.

Cocchiola-Graveline said the Democratic slate brings leadership, experience, commitment and integrity to the offices the candidates are seeking.

“The time is right, the time is now to lead Prospect to the next level and write the next great chapter in Prospect’s history,” Cocchiola-Graveline said.