Newcomer to challenge for Prospect’s top seat

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Prospect Democrat Dominic Mirabelle casts a vote for Town Council candidates during the Democratic Town Committee’s caucus July 18 at the Meeting Place. –LUKE MARSHALL
Prospect Democrat Dominic Mirabelle casts a vote for Town Council candidates during the Democratic Town Committee’s caucus July 18 at the Meeting Place. –LUKE MARSHALL

PROSPECT — The candidate running for mayor on the Democratic ticket is a political unknown, even amongst most of his party.

Louis Booth, 23, won the nomination from the Democratic Town Committee July 18 despite being unknown to practically all of the members.

Booth was not present at the caucus due to the fact that only registered Democrats could attend. He had registered as a Democrat the day of the caucus and his paperwork was not filed until the following day.

When contacted after the meeting Booth said he is running for mayor in part to help get members of the younger generation involved with local politics.

“I’d like to help to bring more of my peers into running the town because inevitably it will become our responsibility,” Booth said. 

Booth, who has lived in Prospect his whole life and graduated from Woodland Regional High School, is currently attending Naugatuck Valley Community College. He is one semester away from graduating with his associate’s degree in general studies.

Booth said, if elected, he wants to give residents an easier open forum to help them air issues and to be able to answer their questions to their satisfaction.

During the caucus there was a question about whether Booth would be a viable candidate to run for the office, since he was not technically a Democrat at the time he was nominated. It was later decided that, according to the town Charter, he meets the requirements by being a resident and elector at the time of the election in November.

The committee asked Dominic Mirabelle, who nominated Booth, to tell them something about the candidate.

“He wants to be mayor so we can have a mayor in this town that doesn’t hide things and spends our money,” Mirabelle said.

Town Council member Theresa Graveline raised concerns about supporting someone for mayor she has never met.

“I don’t know Louis,” Graveline said. “I don’t know what his intention is. I don’t know what he might hope to accomplish as mayor. For me, that’s important to know as to whether or not I could support him as a candidate.”

Graveline said she would not be able to support him at the caucus since she didn’t know his platform.   

Graveline said she didn’t want to support someone just to fill the slot for office of mayor.

“I’ve always said it’s not just a warm body, it’s someone who’s capable of doing the job,” Graveline said.

Graveline’s concerns were echoed by other council members. There were no other candidates that were nominated. So, when the committee closed the call for nominations, Booth was accepted as the candidate.   

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Eileen Cranney said she’s sure the committee and Booth will have a chance to talk during the next meeting.

“I’m sure he’ll be at the next Democratic Town Committee meeting. I’m sure we’ll find out a lot about him and he’ll find out a lot about us, and we’ll move through the process,” Cranney said.

Incumbents Graveline, Patricia Geary, and Carl Graveline were endorsed to run for re-election to the council.

Two new candidates, Cranney and Carla Erickson, also received the nominations to run for council.

Michael Scaviola, who currently serves on the council, said he did not seek to run again because he felt a lack of support from his fellow Democrats and felt the party is lacking direction.

The committee nominated Larry Fitzgerald, principal of Sacred Heart School in Groton, to run for a two-year term on the Region 16 Board of Education.

Fitzgerald said he wanted to run because he has experience as a principal and would like to help the region.

“I’m interested in being on the Board of Education to help oversee Region 16. It’s a great school system and I want to see it stay that way,” Fitzgerald said.

The committee didn’t endorse candidates for the two four-year terms open on the school board this year. 

The committee nominated newcomer Peter Kemp for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Newcomers Sam Blinstrubas and Chris Mariotti were nominated to run for the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The committee endorsed incumbent Peter Blinstrubas and newcomer Louis Kuegel to run the Board of Assessment Appeals.

Blinstrubas said he is running for another term on the board because he is interested in serving the community.

“This was another way of doing that, so I figured I’d do this board one more time and see what’s next,” Blinstrubas said.