Former state Sen. Dan Debicella of Shelton has been honored by the Connecticut Republican Party with the Fred Beibel Award.

Debicella is a current GOP candidate for Congress in the 4th District, which includes a part of Shelton and most of Fairfield County.

The award is named in honor of the late Fred Beibel of Stratford, who was chairman of the state Republican Party, deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, and White House staff member to President Ronald Reagan.

‘Putting his community first’

“Dan Debicella is a committed public servant, who has dedicated his time and effort putting his community first,” said Republican state party Chairman Jerry Labriola, who presented Debicella with the award. “I want to thank Dan for all that he has done and continues to do.”

Many Shelton residents were in attendance to see Debicella receive the award, including Republican state Rep. Jason Perillo.

“Dan and Fred shared a common belief that the country and state come before self,” Perillo said. “Having served in the legislature with Dan, I can attest to his strong commitment to his constituents and I know Fred [Beibel] would have been proud to see him receive it.”

Dan Debicella’s background

Debicella grew up in Bridgeport and Shelton. His father, Cal, was a policeman in Bridgeport and his mom, Maggie, is a secretary in the federal judicial system. The 1992 Shelton High School graduate was the first person in his family to go to college.

Debicella served two terms in the state Senate from 2006-2010, representing Shelton, Monroe, Seymour and Stratford. He was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Congress in 2010, losing to Democrat Jim Himes.