WALLINGFORD — Jared Liu, a Democrat who ran for mayor in 2017, is seeking the party’s nomination again this year.
“There’s a lot we’ve lost,” said Liu, who grew up in Wallingford. “We are not growing in ways we should be and going backward in some areas.”
Robin Hetrick, the Wallingford Democratic Town Committee chair, said Friday that party endorsements won’t come until July.
The DTC leadership team will talk to everybody and then present all candidates to the full DTC, she said.
“We have a ton of great buzz about people interested in running,” Hetrick said, “but it’s very early in the process.”
Longtime Republican Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said Friday that he had no comment on Liu’s candidacy, but that “everyone’s welcome to run for office. That’s our system.”
Dickinson defeated Liu by a 5,882 to 4,223 tally, a margin of 1,659 votes, in 2017.
Liu, 41, works at Yale University's school of management as an associate director of admissions and previously held a similar job at Choate Rosemary Hall.
With a background in urban forestry in the Washington, D.C., area, he was a member of the town's Greening Committee in 2013 and 2014, which formed to help with the replacement and maintenance of downtown trees.
He said his basic platform hasn’t changed since his run two years ago. His primary issues are economic development, education, health, safety and services.
He plans to start campaigning earlier than he did two years ago.
“It takes a long time to run a local campaign,” he said. “You’re not a national candidate with name recognition, and everyone knows there’s an election and who you are. instead it takes 10, 20, 30 minutes to door knock and get your story and vision of the town.”
He said he’ll be refreshing conversations he started in 2017 with residents, land developers, town department heads, school board members, church leaders and other community leaders.
Liu has started fundraising, filing with the town clerk in December to get his website up.
Economic development, he said, is “the key in many ways of what we can do in town.”
He’d like to see more locally-owned businesses and a resurgence downtown, in addition to large employers to occupy buildings vacated by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Edible Arrangements and 3M.
He supports marketing the town better to attract, and then actively retain, business.
“We’re not including enough voices,” he said. “Too many are focused on revenue generation versus what we want in town.”
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