Mayor Mark Lauretti urged Shelton residents to “stay the course” after being nominated by the Shelton Republican Town Committee (RTC) for a 12th term on Monday night.
“Keep Shelton moving in the right direction,” Lauretti said. “We’ve become a leader in many respects.”
Lauretti, who was first elected in 1991, said residents are pleased with low taxes, a good quality of life, local economic stability, a solid education system, expanding recreational opportunities and a downtown being revitalized.
He brushed off criticism from his Democratic opponent, David Gioiello, and questioned Gioiello’s pledge not to raise taxes. “When was the last time a Democrat ever lowered taxes anywhere? How do you believe that?” Lauretti said.
Gioiello, who is Democratic Town Committee chairman, was nominated by his party last week to run against Lauretti for mayor. Gioiello also ran against Lauretti six years ago.
In the 2007 contest, Lauretti defeated Gioiello by a 72%-28% margin.
All votes were unanimous
Lauretti was renominated unanimously by the RTC during its endorsement session at the Plumb Memorial Library, with 41 of the town committee’s 75 members present.
The party nominated a slate of mostly incumbents for the fall election, including those on the Board of Aldermen, Board of Education, and Planning and Zoning Commission. All the candidates were unanimously supported by town committee members, with no challenging names offered from the floor.
For the only seat not held by a Republican on the Board of Aldermen, the RTC backed Eugene Kierce in the First Ward. He will join incumbent Anthony Simonetti on the Republican slate in running against longtime Democratic Alderman Jack Finn in that voting district.
Kierce also ran for alderman in the 2011 election. In Shelton, the two candidates who get the most votes in an aldermanic ward are elected, regardless of political party.
Keeping past promises
Lauretti thanked RTC members for their “trust,” “loyalty” and “friendship” through the years. He held up a campaign brochure with his photo from an early mayoral campaign, saying the Republican team had kept its promises while joking he now has “a little less hair.”
“We assembled an effective team and we did what we told the public we would do,” Lauretti said.
He said good planning has enabled Shelton to get through three recessions while he’s been in office. “Even in this bad economy, we continue to prosper…We planned for this day,” Lauretti said.
He also said he is prepared for the criticism that will come with a re-election campaign because he had grown used it from being in office so long. “It’s like water off a duck’s back,” he said.
Lauretti said he doesn’t expect to respond to every attack by his political opponents. “It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and point fingers and say you’d do things better,” he said.
The other Republican candidates
Other than Lauretti, the RTC-backed candidates (asterisk indicates they are an incumbent) are:
Board of Aldermen
Eugene Kierce (First Ward)
Anthony Simonetti (First Ward)*
Stanley Kudej (Second Ward)*
Eric McPherson (Second Ward)*
John Anglace (Third Ward)*
Lynn Farrell (Third Ward)*
Noreen McGorty (Fourth Ward)*
John Papa (Fourth Ward)*
Board of Education
Board of Apportionment and Taxation
John Belden Jr.*
Planning and Zoning Commission
Ruth Parkins (four-year term)*
Anthony Pogoda Jr. (four-year term)*
Virginia Harger (two-term term)*
Thomas McGorty (two-year term)*