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Wanted: Darien Republican Candidates

The Darien Republican Town Committee is looking for a few good candidates for the November election. One of the big positions on the ballot will be Kim Westcott’s Board of Education seat. The Republican board chair has said she will not seek relection.

RTC Chairman Harry Artinian says the committee welcomes newcomers as well as current office holders who want to continue serving the town.

Republican First Selectman Dave Campbell, along with fellow Republican Selectmen Jerry Nielsen and Jayme Stevenson, has already announced that he plans to run again. Democrats Callie Sullivan and David Bayne have not yet said whether they plan to run.

Artinian said that even though the RTC is happy with the job the Republican selectmen have done, the committee is still willing to look at new candidates.

"We are looking for somebody with a leadership interest in town. Somebody who will be strategic, tactical and fiscally responsible," he said.

Starting next month, the committee will begin interviewing candidates for Board of Selectmen, Board of Education, Board of Finance, Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Assessment Appeals, Town Treasurer, Tax Collector, Town Clerk and Constables. On July 21, the Republican town caucus will vote on which candidates will get the official party nomination. "The RTC remains neutral until the final vote," Artinian said.

The GOP chairman believes the big issues that will drive voters to the polls in November will be affordable housing, the shuffle project to move the Senior Center to Town Hall and the Board of Education to 35 Leroy Ave., and unfunded mandates from the state, particularly those regarding special education .

"One huge challenge will be Gov. Malloy's monstrosity of a budget . The state of Connecticut doesn't have the money to support it, and they will have to increase taxes, and the Darien taxpayer will have to deal with it."

Republicans currently hold the majority on all town boards. There are 14 Republican candidates whose terms will end this year, and seven Democrats. In last November's elections, Republican candidates won an overwhelming majority of the positions.

What qualities are you looking for in a Darien elected official? Would you consider running? Start a conversation in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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