WINSTED — The Winsted Democratic Party announced their slate for this year’s municipal election after their annual caucus on Tuesday, July 20. For the Board of Selectmen, Mayor Candy Perez announced that she will be seeking another term. Mayor Perez has the longest history with the Board of Selectmen, elected to nine terms, and previously served as the town’s mayor from 2009-2011, and has served a second term as mayor since 2015.
Other candidates for selectmen who are running again include: Selectmen Jack Bourque who is running for his fourth term, Linda Groppo who is running for her third term, and Steven Sedlack who is running again after being first elected seven years ago at a special election.
“If you had asked me back in January or February if I was running as a selectman again, I would have said no,” Sedlack said. “Why am I giving it one more shot? I can’t tell you why. It’s like a calling. I am taking one more turn because there still is stuff to do.”
“I really enjoy being part of a decision making and policy making board that has brought this town to a unified position that we have not seen in years before that,” Bourque said on why he decided to run again. “The board we have had for the past three elections has continued to work together, even with the two Republicans that are on the board, unifying our decisions.”
“This is going to be my third time running and this is something way out of my comfort zone,” Groppo said. “But as Jack and Steve said, this is something that has to be done. Something I feel that this is within me to do. Thanks to all of you, I think we made a difference. We have lots more to do.”
The new candidate for the Democratic Board of Selectmen slate is Nicholas Teeling.
Teeling is currently enrolled at Central Connecticut State University where he is studying public administration.
While he has been involved in campaigns for candidates, and has served as a legislative aide in the State Senate, he has not served in municipal office before.
“I remember when I was in eighth grade, 12 years ago, this town was in a much different position,” Teeling said. “It was very divided and education was the battleground. One of the scariest things for an eighth grader to see was watching one of my former elementary school teachers get electrocuted. There was also so much political division and partisan politics that was put above even basic education for students. But it’s been the hard work of Steve, Candy, Linda, Melissa, and all of the Board of Selectmen for all these years who have made it so our schools are in a good place and this town has a right future.”
Selectman Melissa Bird, who was first elected to the Board of Selectmen in 2017, announced she is not going to be running again for the board. Instead, Bird will be running as a candidate for Town Clerk, to replace long-time Town Clerk Shelia Sedlack who announced earlier this year that she will be retiring by December.
“This wasn’t really planned, but with Sheila stepping down I believe that it was time to do something else and expand my community service,” Bird said in an interview before the caucus. “I think Sheila has done such an amazing job. It’s big shoes to fill, but both my daughter is leaving for college and my son is a junior in high school. So now I can go back to something on a full-time level and still be part of the town and give back.”
For the Board of Education slate, Cheryl Heffernan McGlynn announced that she would be seeking another term on the board.
New candidates for the Board of Education include: Renata Waldron, and Jeannette Brodeur (note: Brodeur previously served on the board of The Winsted Phoenix).
The Winchester Republican Party will be holding its caucus on Wednesday, July 21. An article on the caucus will be posted on The Winsted Phoenix’s website tomorrow.