PROSPECT — Prospect Democrats endorsed their slate last week for the November election without a candidate at the top of the ticket.
The Democratic Town Committee didn’t endorse a candidate to challenge Republican Mayor Robert Chatfield who received the Republican Town Committee’s endorsement to run for re-election.
“We did review the option with a few (mayor) candidates, but found that the challenge of a short campaign season would restrict voters from really coming to know the candidate. It will be a more issue driven and strategic approach to 2017 as we lay the ground work for 2019,” Democratic Town Committee Chairman Eileen Cranney said.
The Democratic Town Committee endorsed incumbents Larry Fitzgerald, Patricia Sullivan-Geary and Carla Perugini-Erickson to run for Town Council. The committee also backed Theresa Cocchiola-Graveline for council. Cocchiola-Graveline served on the council for 22 years before running, unsuccessfully, for mayor against Chatfield in 2015.
Democrats currently hold four seats on the nine-member Town Council. The committee left one vacancy for council on its ticket. Each party can endorse up to five candidates to win majority of the council.
Democrat council member Carl Graveline isn’t running for re-election to the council. Rather, he was endorsed to run for treasurer.
Two of Prospect’s four seats on the Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, are up for election. Newcomer Andrea Sutton received the Democrats’ endorsement to run for the school board, and the other spot was left vacant.
The committee also didn’t endorse candidates to challenge for town clerk and tax collector.
The deadline to endorse candidates has passed. Candidates can petition to primary to get on the Democratic ticket. If the number of candidates that primary does not exceed to number of spots available the candidates are automatically on the ticket. Candidates can also petition to get on the ballot as petitioning candidates.
Cranney said on Monday the committee has three active petitions to fill the vacant spots on its ticket for town clerk, school board and the council.
The committee also endorsed the following candidates: Gregory Ploski for Planning and Zoning Commission; Jeffrey LaMontagne and Peter Blinstrubas for Board of Assessment Appeals; Carl Montagano for Zoning Board of Appeals.
“I’m very proud of the Democratic slate. We have a wonderful combination of experienced individuals and political novices who are motivated to serve the citizens of our town,” Cranney said. “It’s always exciting to have returning and highly qualified candidates running for local offices, and it’s just as exciting to have new and capable citizens anxious to get involved. Our slate has both. These dedicated folks are all very capable candidates are ready to be active and responsive to the needs of a growing Prospect.”