Shelton's Gidwani, Jones petition way onto November ballot

SHELTON - Two Republicans - one an incumbent alderman - have petitioned their way onto the November ballot.

Alderman David Gidwani, a vocal critic of Mayor Mark Lauretti who was not endorsed by the Republican Town Committee, is seeking reelection in the first ward. Chris Jones, a longtime Democrat who switched parties several years ago, is running for alderman in the third ward.

The pair gathered the required signatures and recently learned they qualified to be on the ballot. Both candidates are running as part of the Envision Shelton slate.

“I am very excited to have gotten enough signatures to qualify to be on this Nov. 2 ballot with the Envision Shelton team,” Jones said. “I am a registered Republican who believes in working with people who produce results and have the city’s best interests at heart.”

Jones said Envision Shelton’s bipartisan approach is what attracted him to the group, which has candidates running for seats in each ward this November. Some Envision Shelton candidates have been cross endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee.

Jones and fellow Envision Shelton third ward candidate Matt McGee - cross endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee — are running for seats against longtime incumbents John Anglace, Jr., who is board president, and Cris Balamaci. The Democrats also endorsed Jarrett Frazier to run in the third ward.

Knowing the Shelton RTC would not endorse his reelection run, Gidwani said he gladly joined the Envision Shelton slate.

“The (Shelton RTC) would have never put me on the ballot because I am vocal about the mayor since he is not doing his job,” Gidwani said. “My focus will be, as it has all these years, to listen to every resident and help them with their problems that they have in Shelton.”

Gidwani gathered 175 signatures to petition his way on the ballot. Jones got 154 signatures and had another 70 third ward residents offering to sign on to support his candidacy.

Gidwani seeks reelection against Republican Town Committee candidates incumbent Anthony Simonetti and newcomer Porter McKinnon and Democrat-endorsed David Gioiello and Wayne Bragg.

“Basically, I like to serve my community,” Gidwani said about why he is running again. “If you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, I will be available to help even if you don't live in my ward.

“Last year, when COVID hit hard, I dug deep into my pockets to make sure no family went to bed hungry,” Gidwani said about his offer of purchasing pizzas for needy families.

“I have a proven track record of helping residents and plan to keep doing it. At the end of the day, I feel I have tremendous support with voters in ward 1,” Gidwani added.

Envision Shelton Chair Lorraine Rossner said her group is bi-partisan and wanted to provide an opportunity for “forward-thinking, Shelton-focused” individuals to be able to run for Alderman.

“Since it was highly unlikely that the Republican Town Committee would endorse both David Gidwani and Chris Jones for Alderman - Envision Shelton wanted to provide that opportunity,” Rossner said. “Both David and Chris have acquired enough signatures to petition on to the Envision Shelton slate and their names will be listed on the ballot in November as Envision Shelton candidates.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com