Wallingford Democrats select party nominees for upcoming election

Wallingford Democrats select party nominees for upcoming election

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WALLINGFORD — Local Democrats unanimously nominated Jared Liu for mayor this week, setting up a rematch of the 2017 campaign in which the then first-time candidate fared significantly better than recent challengers to longtime incumbent Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. 

Liu ultimately came up short two years ago by a little more than 1,600 votes.

The 42-year-old told Liu said Wednesday he learned a lot from his 2017 campaign.

A major component of this year’s campaign will be door-knocking, he said, with the hope of starting a conversation with business owners, developers, teachers and residents of both parties about the future of the town.

“Our advantage is that we’re going to walk all 231 miles in town,” said Liu, a senior associate director of admissions at Yale University School of Management.

After several members of the party spoke to endorse his candidacy at Wednesday night’s party caucus, Liu addressed the room and thanked everyone for the nomination, adding that he regarded his selection as an “absolute privilege.”

Democratic Town Comittee Chairwoman Robin Hettrick praised Liu, who gained political experience working for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign as national deputy director for budgeting and compliance.

“I think Jared’s got solid plans,” Hettrick said. ”He’s a solid worker, got a lot of energy.”

Transparency, improvement

The town committee caucused at The Library Wine and Bar Bistro, 60 N. Main St., to nominate 13 candidates Wednesday — six for Town Council and six for Board of Education, in addition to mayor. 

Hettrick said she has confidence in the individuals nominated, adding that the group really cares about the town and wants to help move it forward. 

“We’d like to see more transparency and improvement for all of Wallingford,” Hettrick said.

The Board of Education candidates are incumbents Michael Votto, Kathy Castelli, Patty Pursell and Patrick Reynolds, and challengers Bryan Rivard and Bruce Conroy.

Rivard ran for school board in 2017. Conroy is an alternate on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Town Council candidates are incumbents Jason Zandri, Vincent Testa, Gina Morgenstein and challengers Jaime Hine, Jesse Reynolds and Jeff Kohan.

Kohan is a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and Hine is a PZC alternate. Reynolds ran for Town Council in 2017.

Each party is running six candidates for Town Council and six for school board, the maximum number of seats allowed for one party per governing body, and a mayoral candidate.

Republicans held their nominating convention on Wednesday, meeting at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School.

Twitter: @JenieceRoman