Parties finalize candidate slates

It’s official. The 2019 first selectman’s race in Trumbull is setting up as a showdown between its present and its recent past, as incumbent Democrat Vicki Tesoro will take on former Trumbull High Athletic Director Michael Herbst, father of former First Selectman Timothy Herbst, in November.

In speech accepting the unanious GOP endorsement, Herbst echoed his son in phrasing the upcoming campaign in football terms and heaping praise on former Trumbull High football coach Jerry McDougall.

“A long time ago, a dear friend and mentor, Jerry McDougall, told me that you can either complain about something, or roll up your sleeves and get to work changing it,” Herbst said. “I decided to run for first selectman because I am unhappy with the direction of this town, and as I continue to talk to residents, I realize just how many people feel the same way.”

Herbst said he was most proud of the diversity of the Republican ticket, which includes many first-time candidates.

“We have so many people who are entering politics for the first time in their lives, as well as experienced volunteers who have made a commitment to strengthening this community,” he said. “Actions speak louder than words, and this amazing ticket speaks to the strength of the people of Trumbull. This is a ticket of compassion, experience, engagement and diversity.”

Joining Herbst at the top of the GOP ticket are attorney and District 2 Town Councilman Edna Colucci who is running for town clerk, and real estate agent Jefferey Craw who is running for town treasurer.

Trumbull Democrats made Tesoro their unanimous pick to seek re-election. Though party officials praised Tesoro for her work to stabilize the tax rate and address the needs of the town’s senior population, they also made pointed contrasts to Tim Herbst’s years in office.

“She’s truly transformed our community for the better, ending a period of acrimony and division, and ushering in an era of community spirit and mutual respect,” said Democratic Chairman Tom Kelly.

Tesoro herself cited her nonconfrontational style in her acceptance speech.

“By working together, respecting one another, and seeing differences as opportunities instead of obstacles, we can achieve great things for Trumbull,” she said.

In addition to Tesoro, the Democrats nominated two-term incumbent Anthony Musto, an attorney, for town treasurer and former Recreation Director Mary Markham for town clerk.

Republican Town Chairman Joseph Pifko called Herbst the most qualified candidate in Trumbull.

“As a former teacher, coach, and athletic director, Coach Herbst has helped shaped the lives of countless Trumbull students and residents, and now it’s time we elect Coach Herbst to help lead Trumbull to a better future,” Pifko said.

The Democrats also took the opportunity to lay out an agenda for the upcoming term, should the party win a majority on town boards. Plans for the 2019-21 term include returning the Town Council to seven districts, strengthening referendum language for large projects, enacting term limits where allowed by state law, and returning the Board of Educaton to six members serving four-year staggered terms.

The full slate of Democratic candidates running for election in November is as follows:

Town Council District 1 - Dawn Cantafio, Mary Isaac, Bill Mecca;

Town Council District 2 - Keith Klain, Kevin Shively, Mary Beth Thornton, Thomas Whitmoyer;

Town Council District 3 - Christine El Eris, Joanne Orenstein, Jason Marsh, Eric Paulson;

Town Council District 4 - Joy Colon, Bruce Elstein, Ashley Gaudiano, Joe Gerics, Lisa Valenti.

Constables - David Kayne, Raymond E. Baldwin.

Zoning Board of Appeals - Steve Elbaum (2019 seat), Nom Weller (2020).

Planning & Zoning Commission - Fred Garrity Jr. (2019 seat), Tony Silber (2020).

Board of Assessment Appeals - Gail Ayotte.

Board of Education - Kathleen Fearon, Tim Gallo, Scott Kerr, Lucinda Timpanelli, Michael Ward.

Board of Finance - Michael Barker, Vincent DeGennaro, Paul Timpanelli.

On the Republican side, the underticket candidates are as follows:

Town Council District 1 - Donna Seidell, Paul Verbitsky, Alex Vazzano, Richard Pulie;

Town Council District 2 - Tony Scinto, Christy Hayes, Katie Miller-Creagh, Susan Stauder Fatse;

Town Council Disitrict 3 - Carl Massaro, Lori Rosasco-Schwartz, Alison Squiccimarro, Christopher Bandecchi;

Town Council District 4 - Joe Pifko, Stephen Lemoine, Gaspar Reyes, Lissette Colon, Chris Arthur.

Board of Education - Jackie Norcel, Loretta Chory, Jeff Donofrio, Marie Petitti, Stuart Schwartz.

Constables - Victor Pioli, Jim Battistelli.

Board of Finance - Elaine Hammers, Scott Zimov, Josephine Mills.

Planning & Zoning - Richard Deecken, Mark Block.

Board of Assessment Appeals - Luana Riley.