WALLINGFORD — Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. announced his intention to run for a 19th consecutive term Wednesday night.
The announcement at the Republican Town Committee meeting comes a week before the local Republican and Democratic town committees’ nominating caucuses, both scheduled for the evening of July 17.
Dickinson, 72, is the second-longest serving mayor in the state. He trails only Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield, 75, also a Republican, who is serving his 21st term.
Dickinson has dressed in historical garb while announcing his intention to run in past years. On Wednesday, he dressed as one of the Three Musketeers.
In his speech at the Library Wine Bar and Bistro, Dickinson spoke about facing challenges by “balancing interests,” with the attitude of the 17th century fictional trio, “one for all and all for one.”
“What brings that to us is values,” Dickinson said, “the value of caring about people enough that you keep all their interests in mind.”
Democrat Jared Liu, who announced his intention run for mayor earlier this year, said he welcomes Dickinson to the mayoral race.
“I do hope that we have healthy and vigorous conversations over the next four months,” Liu said, adding that he’s glad Dickinson is “putting out the message that this should be a positive campaign.”
Liu said that “it turns people off when there’s a lot of finger-pointing.”
“To some degree, it’s like Thanksgiving dinner,” he said. “You might not always agree with your relatives, but it’s the one time of the year that you talk politics. Being part of the conversation, that’s what’s important.”
Dickinson, a 36-year incumbent, defeated Liu in the 2017 election by 1,659 votes.
Dickinson won re-election in 2011, 2013 and 2015 by more than 3,000 votes on average.