Hess registers as mayoral candidate

N. Warren 'Pete' Hess
N. Warren ‘Pete’ Hess

NAUGATUCK — A local attorney who has represented the borough in legal matters for several years will officially become a candidate for mayor.

N. Warren “Pete” Hess, a-66-year-old Democrat, has registered as a mayoral candidate at the Town Clerk’s office.

Hess confirmed Monday that he filed the paperwork, but said he will refrain from making a statement until he addresses members of the Democratic Town Committee at a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall.

M. Leonard Caine III, chairman of the town committee, said he has invited all potential mayoral and burgess candidates to address the full committee during the meeting.

With the mayoral field wide open — Mayor Robert Mezzo, a Democrat, will not seek re-election — the candidates are getting an early jump.

Over the weekend, Republican Seth Bronko, 26, co-owner of Bronko Construction Co. and son of former mayor and current burgess Michael Bronko, announced he will run.

First-term Burgess Alexander Olbrys, 23, will also seek the Republican nomination for mayor. Both Republicans have filed candidate paperwork with the Town Clerk’s office.

Neither major party can officially endorse a candidate until July. A primary could be held following those endorsements, and the general election will be in November.

Between now and then, Seth Bronko, Hess and Olbrys will court voters.

Caine said he looks forward to hearing from Democratic candidates Wednesday night.

Olbrys and Seth Bronko have already approached the Republican Town Committee, as have people interested in running for other offices.

Kim Kiernan, chairwoman of the Republican Town Committee, said Olbrys and Seth Bronko appear to be the most interested in running for mayor, and are very serious about it.

“I am thrilled that we have people who want to serve,” she said.

Republicans and Democrats have split time in the borough’s top political office in the past 10 years. Republican Ronald San Angelo was mayor from 2003 to 2007; Republican Michael Bronko was mayor from 2009 to 2011, and Mezzo has held the seat since.