Stratford mayor announces re-election run, citing transparency, 'respectful government'

Photo of Ethan Fry

STRATFORD — Mayor Laura Hoydick has made it official: She’s running for a second term as the town’s top elected official.

Flanked by husband and “First Dude” Paul and her daughter Paige, the mayor told supporters gathered this week on Academy Hill that being mayor has been “one of the most important things and valuable things I feel I’ve ever done, and I’d like to continue for the next four years.

“And I would like to continue with all of you, because without you we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have,” the mayor said to a crowd of about 50, which included several Town Council members, staff and department heads.

During her announcement and afterward, Hoydick, a Republican who served as a state representative and worked as a commercial property manager, contrasted her party’s control of town offices with the last time Democrats controlled the council, between 2015 and 2017.

“As a result of our successful campaigns for mayor and Town Council, obtaining the majority, we have lowered mill rates, we have provided a civil, professional, courteous and respectful government and we have improved quality of life,” she said, calling the town’s current operation a “model of collaboration and transparency.”

Beyond offering what she characterized as a “professional, sound” town government, the mayor highlighted several “significant transportation and infrastructure improvements” during her tenure, including the re-aligning of the entrance to Sikorsky on Route 110 and work at Exits 32 and 33 on Interstate 95 — “soon to be finished, so bear with us.”

She also noted the renovation of Stratford High School and new turf fields at Bunnell, as well as improvements to Eli Whitney Elementary School and solar installations at schools townwide.

The mayor also noted the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which, she said, she “was honored to work with the Republican-led Town Council and town department leaders to manage effectively and communicate to our residents about updates, directions, the most up-to-date science and how the town could continue to support each other during this difficult time.”

Remediation at the former Raymark and Contract Plating properties is “ongoing,” the former Center School property presents opportunities for development and cleanup of the former Stratford Army Engine Plant is “getting closer,” the mayor said.

“I’d like to thank the great people of our town who bestowed their faith in us four years ago, and I ask that they continue to support me for the next four years,” Hoydick said.

It’s unclear who Hoydick’s Democratic opponent will be in November. Two people have filed paperwork to run for mayor — Stephanie Philips, the Democrat party’s standard-bearer in 2017, and Immacula Cann, a nurse who is a member of the party’s statewide central committee.

Asked to comment on the mayor’s announcement, both sent statements to the Connecticut Post saying Hoydick hasn’t done enough.

Philips said the town “has been stagnant for many years” but now has “an opportunity to chart a new course for our town, one that fosters opportunity and prosperity for all Stratford residents, not just the well-connected.

“Despite our record high property values and tens of millions of relief dollars flowing into our town from the federal and state government, our residents who are already struggling such as families, seniors and small businesses have seen no meaningful tax relief, improvement to our public education, increased services or significant economic development,” she said.

Cann said she is running “because I know our town can be better managed.

“Here in Stratford, we have all witnessed much of the same partisan politics over the last dozen years that has offered a lot of promises but accomplished little as a result,” she said. “We need change that makes our town’s future, the future we all share, much better. I’m running because I want to create a better future for my children and yours.”

Asked who she’d rather run against, the mayor said, “It doesn’t matter.”

She said she hadn’t read any of her potential opponents’ critiques, but said that she’d be willing to debate whoever the Democrats nominate.

“I am most proud that we have worked collaboratively together,’ she said of her time in office. “In most instances, we’ve tried to do it in a nonpartisan fashion. For the first two years of my administration, it was more towards that than it is now, because obviously it’s campaign season.”

Democrats have far outnumbered the GOP in terms of new voter registrations in the past four years in town and say the wind is at their backs going into November’s elections.

Hoydick said she isn’t fazed.

“I have great faith in the residents and the voting population of Stratford to do what’s best for themselves and the community,” she said. “We’re going to campaign hard, we’re going to continue to campaign truthfully and we’re going to continue to deliver what’s best for our community.”