The Capitol Beat: October 28-November 1, 2013

From Gaffney, Bennett & Associates

October 28, 2013 — November 1, 2013

Tuesday is Election Day for many towns and cities around the state.  Those who live and do business in these municipalities are sure to be monitoring the results, wondering how they might impact their property taxes, education and city or town services.  In particular, a lot of eyes will trained on three of the state’s largest cities — New Haven, Stamford and New Britain — to determine if any surprises or patterns emerge that could affect next year’s statewide and gubernatorial races.

  • Mayoral Races Feature Some Familiar Names, Faces.

In New Haven, where Democrats have reigned for time immemorial and John DeStefano for the past 20 years, one thing is certain, there will be new leadership.  That, in itself is a major sea change. Democratic State Sen. Toni Harp., who has served New Haven in the Legislature for the past two decades and as chair of the budget committee for almost 10 years, survived a crowded primary.  She is being challenged in Tuesday’s election by Independent candidate Justin Elicker, a former school teacher who also served briefly in the State Department under Bush the Second’s administration. Elicker was the second largest vote-getter in the primary.

The Executive Office in Stamford is also being vacated by the incumbent – Republican Mayor Michael Pavia announced he would not seek re-election The GOP torchbearer in the Stamford mayoral race is another familiar from the Capitol – Michael Fedele.  Fedele served in the state House of Representatives before becoming Lt. Governor alongside Governor Jodi Rell. Fedele and Democrat David Martin have been locked in a tight race. Martin served on the local Board of Representatives for 26 years and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor in 2009.

Democrats want very badly to regain this seat, held for many years by Dannel Malloy.  Republicans want nothing more, of course, than to maintain the top spot.

And finally, in New Britain Democratic Mayor Tim O’Brien (also a former State Representative) is facing off against Erin Stewart, the daughter of former two-term Republican Mayor Timothy Stewart.

  • Did You Know….

The state’s Office of Policy and Management has recommended that Connecticut cut the number of regional planning agencies nearly in half – from 15 to 8, which is the number of counties Connecticut had back in the 1950s.  The regions will become regional councils of governments and will serve as an area in which towns can jointly address common issues and interests (e.g. land use, transportation, economic planning).

In the news