Lauretti vision 'out of gas:' David Eldridge announces Shelton mayoral bid

Eldridge

Eldridge

Contributed photo / Contributed photo

SHELTON — After weeks of hinting at his candidacy on social media, longtime city resident and retired police officer David Eldridge has finally made it official.

Eldridge, a Democrat, formally announced Tuesday — standing alongside supporters at the Riverwalk — that he will run against incumbent Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti, who has held the city’s top job for three decades.

“I could not sit back anymore and watch the decline of my city without doing something,” Eldridge said. “It is exciting to be part of the process and effect change. This is my city, our town ... I love this community, so I had to get involved.

“We can do better ... there is more than one person who can keep your taxes low,” Eldridge said. “I commit to maintaining our low tax rate, but I will do a better job managing our city and our resources so we can improve our infrastructure and quality of life for the future.”

Eldridge, with supporters Chris Jones, Anne Gaydos, Shelton Democratic Town Committee Chair David Gioiello and Jim Capra, his campaign manager, at his side, said Lauretti’s vision is “out of gas.

“We need new energy, someone who knows how to solve problems and is willing to work with people,” Eldridge said. “That person is me.

“I want to work tirelessly for the residents of Shelton,” Eldridge added. “I have the work ethic, experience, business savvy and understanding to take the reins in November. I will be taking my message directly to the voters.”

Eldridge said he chose downtown for his announcement because he intends to make the area a “gem for the region.

“The current mayor has had three decades to tackle downtown Shelton,” Eldridge said. “The downtown continues to suffer from lack of parking, and it is increasingly unsafe and not attractive for visitors or businesses. It requires planning, an open playing field for investors and working together in new ways. The random infill development is not well planned and will not transform the area. I will be asking the voters to let me take it on and, in return, I promise we will not have to wait 30 years for results.”

Eldridge, raised in Shelton and a graduate of Shelton High School, will formally seek the Democrat nomination during the July nominating process.

Capra, a Republican and former alderman, called his candidate “a life-long, moderate, blue-collar Democrat that is fiscally conservative and believes in people over politics.”

Eldridge is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a former 31-year city of Shelton police officer. He was twice elected to the Board of Alderman from Ward 2. He currently works for Sikorsky Aircraft and has operated two small family businesses in his career.

“David has devoted his adult life in service to citizens, first as a Marine then as a police officer for 31 years,” Gioiello said. “Running for mayor is a continuation of his commitment to serving the people of his community.”

Envision Shelton, now a slate committee that has put up candidates for the Board of Aldermen this November, offered a statement in support of Eldridge’s candidacy.

"David is a lifelong Sheltononian, a military veteran and a recently retired member of the Shelton PD,” the statement reads. “He has already identified many of our problems and has formulated effective solutions for them. We believe he has the experience and is truly the right person to unite all of Shelton behind our shared vision of community leadership through collaboration rather than partisan politics.”

Envision Shelton is the bi-partisan group that spearheaded opposition to the recent charter revision proposal which was defeated by a 70 percent to 30 percent margin in the November 2020 election.

“Voters are tired of traditional politics,” Eldridge said, adding that he is dedicated to working with residents from across the political spectrum. “They want a person who will serve the community, not themselves. Like me, most voters like to do the right thing, not the political thing.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com