NAUGATUCK — Supporters packed Jesse Camille’s Restaurant last week as Deputy Mayor Tamath Rossi made her run for mayor official.
“Twelve years ago I stood here wide-eyed and excited, not having any idea what was in store, and announced that I was running for burgess. Maybe I would have had second thoughts if I knew, but I have to tell you that I never thought in a million years that journey would bring me here, 12 years later, to stand in front of all of you and proudly announce that I am running for mayor of our fair borough of Naugatuck,” said Rossi May 28 as she kicked off her campaign for mayor.
Rossi, a 49-year-old Republican, has served as deputy mayor for all six of her terms on the Board of Mayor and Burgesses. The deputy mayor is the burgess who receives the most votes.
Rossi’s announcement came a few months after she said that she would not be running for re-election due to a new job with the Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce. The position with the chamber prevented her from holding elected office.
“I thought that I was fully prepared to take a step back from politics and involvement in my community. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that wasn’t the case. From day one it was a struggle for me to think, that at such a critical time in our community, … come November I would be sitting on the sidelines,” said Ross, who tendered her resignation with the chamber in May.
More than 65 people came out to support Rossi, including former Board of Finance member Don Carten, who introduced her.
“One thing that has always impressed me about her is, rather that taking the politically-expedient path, as a lot of people do, Tamath has always made the hard decisions for what’s better for the town as a whole,” Carten said. “Tamath’s accomplishments over the years are far too numerous to mention at this time. Suffice to say, our town today is a better place to live because of the hours, the effort, and the dedication that she given this community.”
Rossi said the mayoral race will be about revitalizing the economy in Naugatuck.
“I am running for mayor because I really believe that our comeback starts with more jobs and new opportunities for our families, business and seniors. People need to believe that our town can and will shine again,” Rossi said.
Rossi is the third Republican to announce a bid for the mayor’s seat. Republicans Alexander Olbrys, who is in his first term as a burgess, and Seth Bronko, co-owner and executive business manager of Bronko Construction, have announced they are running for mayor. Democrat N. Warren “Pete” Hess, an attorney, is also running.
Mayor Robert Mezzo, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election.
Rossi said her experience makes her stand out from the other candidates.
“Now, I don’t want to make any mistakes about it, I know full well this is going to be a difficult campaign. It’s not going to be easy, but I’ve taken on the big fights,” Rossi said. “I am the only candidate running for mayor that will be able to move Naugatuck into the future on day one.”
Rossi said she will soon be launching her website at www.rossifornaugatuck.com.