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November 18, 2019

Politics

"Vote Yes"
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is facing his toughest challenge in 18 years.
Flashback from last Fall: Democratic Party headquarters in Greenwich.

What's At Stake On Election Day In Fairfield County?

If you're voting in Fairfield County on Tuesday, Nov. 5, you can select school board members and various town elective posts, including selectmen. City mayoral jobs are on the ballot in Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwalk.

Greenwich will vote on top town government positions, including first selectman. Similar high-profile elections are taking place in Fairfield and New Canaan.

In Bridgeport, Democratic Mayor Joe Ganim appears to have won re-election thanks to a court ruling in his primary election battle. He won a major court victory on Thursday, Oct. 31 that blocked a request for another Democratic primary in the city.

Ganim is the frontrunner in Tuesday's general election since his main challenger, state Sen. Marilyn Moore, will not have her name on the ballot. Moore launched a write-in campaign, where victory is considered unlikely.

Moore received more votes than Ganim at the polls on Election Day, but a three-to-two advantage among absentee ballot voters gave Ganim a 270-vote primary win.

While she wasn’t a party in the case, Moore said she was "happy it exposed (the) deeply corrupt absentee ballot harvesting operation of the Democratic Town Committee." The Supreme Court ruling represents a major setback for voting rights and election integrity in the state, according to Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the union-backed Connecticut Working Families Party. 

In Danbury, Mayor Mark Boughton, 55, faces what may be his toughest challenge in 18 years. 

The former high school history teacher hasn’t faced a close election since his first run for mayor in 2001, when he beat Democrat Chris Setaro by 139 votes out of more than 14,000 cast.

Now Setaro is back, more vocal than ever -- hoping to end the Republican mayor’s reign over the city of 85,000.

Setaro says the city needs new leadership: "These are not lifetime jobs."

Setaro, an attorney specializing in worker’s compensation law, has raised more than $125,000, the first time a Democrat running for mayor in Danbury has broken the $100,000 threshold.

Despite holding a 5,000 voter enrollment advantage in Danbury, Democrats have been unable to wrest control of the mayor's seat or the city council majority, where Republicans hold 14 of 21 seats.

Finally, will the so-called "Trump factor" hurt any local Republican candidates?

Boughton once joked that he wrote his dog's name on his 2016 presidential ballot, but later revealed he voted for Donald Trump.

Setaro has said he senses there is an "anti-Trump feeling among the electorate."

In Norwalk, Democratic Mayor Harry Rilling is seeking re-election for his fourth term. He is challenged by Republican Lisa Brinton. Rilling also appears on the Working Families Party line.

In Stamford, there are no top of the ticket races on Tuesday. Democratic Mayor David Martin, who is currently halfway through his second term, was re-elected in 2017. However, Stamford residents select from a large field of candidates for the Board of Education and Board of Finance.

Back to Greenwich, where there are two strong candidates for first selectman: Jill Oberlander served on the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting for six years. After serving on the town's board of estimate and taxation for four years, Oberlander was unanimously elected BET chair in January 2017, a position she holds today.

Fred Camillo  has served six terms as state representative for the 151st house district of Greenwich, He served on Greenwich's Representative Town Meeting from 1995 to 2001, and was chairman of the Greenwich Board of Parks & Recreation from 2000 to 2002. He subsequently served as chairman of the Republican Town Committee from 2002 to 2006.

New Canaan is seeing one of its most hotly-contested races in many years. Republican First Selectman Kevin Moynihan is being challenged by Democrat Craig Donovan. Additionally, selectmen Kit Devereaux, a Democrat, and Nick Williams, a Republican, also are seeking re-election. After the winner of the First Selectman's race, the next two candidates with the highest vote totals become selectmen.