The race for mayor wraps up in November and with a little under two months left, an independent candidate has emerged. Timothy Bristol of Shelton has recently announced his running for mayor and he has some unique tactics for his campaign.
Bristol said initially his plan was to use Gofundme merely as a way to raise the funds for a table at Shelton Day, but has recently been debating using the crowdsourcing site to raise money for his entire campaign.
“It’s very simple and effective,” said Bristol. “I wasn’t sure if it was allowed, but I looked up the policies and there was nothing against it, so I did it. They haven’t shot me down yet.”
He has only raised $50 so far, but remains optimistic and confident in the direction he hopes to lead the city towards.
After recently graduating from Gateway Community College in New Haven with an associate’s degree in liberal arts, Bristol said he plans to pursue a history degree at Southern Connecticut State University.
He said he’s had the idea to run for mayor for some time now, but finally took it upon himself to research the process of entering the race.
“Last election I looked it up, actually typed in ‘How to run for mayor’ and it seemed very straightforward and, surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of requirements,” said Bristol. “I didn’t want to run as a party nominee because Republicans are always going to be for Lauretti and I didn’t know who the Democrat was until the day of voting.”
Bristol said his decision to run as an Independent candidate made the most sense to him.
“The easiest way to do that is as a ‘write-in candidate’,” said Bristol. “And that paperwork is very simple to file. I sent it out to the statehouse and filled it out literally the same day I decided to run.”
The 29-year-old Bristol said although Mayor Mark Lauretti has done a lot for the city over the past 20-plus years, he feels there is more to be done.
“I don’t like how closed off our city’s government is from the people,” said Bristol. “Lauretti has done a tremendous amount of work downtown, but just off the top of my head, the sidewalks need to be repaved and the education system still lacks funding.”
Bristol also addressed Lauretti’s continuous success in maintaining the city’s low tax rates.
“I keep hearing about that and it is great, but Lauretti keeping the taxes low could mean the city’s budget is stretched. My car taxes are nothing because I drive an old car but if I had to pay an extra $20 to have more money go towards the school systems, I would do it,” said Bristol. “I am not saying I would raise or lower taxes, I would first have to look over the budget but I wouldn’t be against them increasing if I knew it would benefit the city. That shouldn’t be the ‘selling point’ for electing or re-electing a mayor.”
Since the election is steadily approaching Bristol said he will be picking up the pace on his online/Facebook campaign as well as getting out in the community more.
“There’s gotta be more that we can be doing. I mean, if you ask 10 people, nine out of those 10 have no idea what’s going on with our city,” said Bristol. “I would have much more of an online presence. There would be much more of a social media presence. You can ‘like’ the city of Shelton on Facebook, but the page is rarely updated so it doesn’t do you much good.”
Bristol said one of his main goals is to motivate people to be more involved with local government.
“When you think about it, local government may be more important than national government because it affects us more directly than say something the president would do,” said Bristol. “I have voted in every election since I was 18 and I think we need to make it more of a mission to get the younger demographic involved.”