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Political roundup: Wallingford mayoral candidates on school consolidation, Southington police union no confidence in council candidates  

Wallingford mayoral candidates both see difficulties with high school consolidation

What happened: Both Riley O’Connell and Vincent Cervoni, Wallingford mayoral candidates, were asked about one of the most popular questions candidates running are hearing this year: Where do they stand on the Board of Education's proposed consolidation of the town's two high schools into one larger high school? 

Riley O’Connell, the Democratic candidate for mayor, said he thinks the decision should lie with residents.

Republican mayoral candidate Vincent Cervoni said he’s not in favor of the plan as presented by the Board of Education.

What you need to know: The school board endorsed the concept of closing Lyman Hall HIgh School and Mark T. Sheehan High School earlier this year, in favor of one larger high school that would be built on the Lyman Hall campus. 

Lyman Hall is the home of the town's agricultural program, which is state-supported and would mean financial consequences for the town should that program shutter, so the plan is to build a new high school there to keep it with that program.

What’s next: Officials from the school district presented the plan the board endorsed to the Town Council.

Southington police union takes no confidence vote in two council candidates

What happened: The union took a vote of no confidence in Ed Pocock III and Steve Salerno, former officers running for Town Council, 46 to 4.

What you need to know: The two candidates, both former police officers and former Republicans, used pictures of themselves in uniform on campaign mailers. 

Both are currently running as Democrats.

Salerno said the mailer was very clear that he and Pocock were former police officers.

John Marenholz, police detective and union president, said earlier this month that the union doesn’t get involved in local elections but wanted to make sure town residents understood the pictures didn’t imply the union’s endorsement of Salerno and Pocock.

What’s next: The results of the vote were included in a press release from Republican leaders. David Carbone, a police officer and union vice president, said the results were posted for police union members to see but that union leadership didn’t provide them to either party.

After Mike Johnson was voted House Speaker, Connecticut reps says his record is concerning

What happened: Congress officially elected Mike Johnson (R-La.) new speaker of the House on Wednesday.

What you need to know: All Democrats were present during the time, including Connecticut’s congressional delegation, and opposed Rep. Johnson becoming the next speaker.

It was highlighted that they also shared serious concerns over Johnson’s record: opposition to codifying same-sex marriage into federal law, support for a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks, efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and skepticism to providing more aid to Ukraine.

Democrats in Connecticut are also worried about the consequences of delayed legislation, namely passing a new government funding bill in mid-November to avert the potential of a shutdown.

What’s next: Prior to the speaker election, Johnson outlined Congress’ schedule for the next year in a memo prior. The schedule included passing the rest of the spending bills over the next few weeks. He also suggested short-term legislation, known as a continuing resolution, that could keep the government open through January or April.

He is also aiming for the passage of the Farm Bill, a wide-ranging piece of legislation that needs reauthorization every five years, in December. Connecticut farmers and low-income families in the state depend on funding from that bill when it comes to agricultural programs as well as nutrition assistance.

Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who has a leadership role on the House Agriculture Committee, called the timeline “ambitious” and “unrealistic” since her committee has yet to see draft text, hold hearings or start negotiating in earnest. 

But as Johnson gets settled into the role, Connecticut’s delegation hopes Congress can move forward in a more bipartisan way, especially with government funding as the next big hurdle. 



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