Mayor heads Shelton’s GOP ticket, two new faces running for alderman seats

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Lauretti was unanimously chosen by the Republican Town Committee Monday to head the ticket for the Nov. 2 election.

Lauretti was unanimously chosen by the Republican Town Committee Monday to head the ticket for the Nov. 2 election.

Jason Edwards / For Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Mayor Mark Lauretti will be leading a Republican slate with some new faces in high places.

Lauretti, who announced weeks ago his plans to seek a 16th term as mayor, was unanimously chosen by the Republican Town Committee on Monday at the Shelton Community Center to head the ticket for the Nov. 2 election.

Lauretti, in acknowledging his nomination, said in his tenure the city has become an employment hub, with more than 25,000 people coming to Shelton daily. He also noted the more than 2,000 acres of open space purchased in his time in office.

“Mayor Lauretti, along with his Republican administration and the full support of the SRTC, has successfully overseen the growth of Shelton to the betterment of all its citizens during each year of his tenure,” Aalderman Anthony Simonetti said. “... Lower taxes and no tax increases have been accomplished for 20 of the last 30 years he has been in office.”

When first elected, Simonetti said the Bridgeport Avenue corridor produced very few tax dollars and the downtown had more than 50 empty and shuttered storefronts and businesses.

“The changes Lauretti has initiated and overseen to Bridgeport Avenue and six privately funded projects downtown,” Simonetti added, “is a testament to his keeping his promises to grow Shelton with substantial and significant businesses that are environmentally friendly, provide jobs for its citizens as we now enjoy a tax base exceeding $5 billion.”

There are also two new faces on the Republican ticket for Board of Aldermen: Porter McKinnon tabbed to run for the First Ward, and Lorenzo Durante in the Fourth Ward for the seat presently held by the outgoing Noreen McGorty.

McKinnon will be running against fellow Republican and incumbent First Ward Alderman David Gidwani, who is running on the Envision Shelton ticket this November.

Incumbent Republicans Anthony Simonetti (First Ward), Eric McPherson and recently appointed Joanna Carloni, who filled the seat of the Stanley Kudej who died during his term (Second Ward); John Anglace and Cris Balamaci (Third Ward); and Bernie Simons (Fourth Ward) are all seeking reelection.

McKinnon, a Shelton resident for more than 28 years, was president of the Shelton Quarterback Club for six years and a member for eight. His background is in financial planning and budgeting.

Durante presently serves on the Shelton Parks and Recreation Commission and coaches soccer at Shelton High. He is a founding member of Valley Angels a charity supporting children with heart problems.

Simonetti said the committee is “proud of its candidates who all have deep roots in the city of Shelton.

“(They) are all concerned citizens who are dedicated to ensure Shelton continues to be a safe community where its citizens can live, work and recreate along with the support of ecologically and environmentally safe companies and businesses,” he said.

For Board of Education, Republicans chose incumbents Kathy Yolish, James Orazietti, John Fitzgerald, Carl Rizzo and Amy Romano. Joining them on the GOP ticket will be Mike Mainiero, Jim Feehan, Joe Pagliaro Jr., and Darlisa Ritter, who had been a board member until voted off two years ago.

Simonetti praised the incumbent Board of Education members, saying that those presently serving “assisted in finding common ground with the school administration and the current aldermen and mayor on education spending including allowing the BOE to recover and utilize unspent budget funds from previous years and move into the next year’s budget to fully fund the school system.”

For Planning and Zoning Commission, the Republicans tabbed Peter Laskos, who has been an alternate, and present member Ruth Parkins, who was appointed to fill the term of Anthony Pogoda who moved away during his term. Laskos would replace outgoing Republican Mark Widomski. For alternate, the GOP selected Daniel Onofrio.

Republicans also chose incumbents John Boyko, John Belden and John Francino-Quinn for the Board of Apportionment and Taxation. Incumbent Stephen Bellis will be running for reelection on the Library Board, and Raymond O’Leary will once again be running for town treasurer.