EDITORIAL: For Wallingford town councilor, health comes first

Jason Zandri is lucky to be alive. At some point it will be time to encourage him to get back into town government, but at the moment the focus needs to be on his recovery. We’ll join with the rest of Wallingford in hoping that goes as well as possible.

Zandri faced an extreme scare in the form of an attack of myocarditis, or viral inflammation of the heart, at the end of July. Taken to Hartford Hospital, the 52-year-old Zandri was saved “with maybe 60 seconds to spare,” as he put it. Since being discharged a little more than two weeks ago, he has been focusing on getting better.

“I probably can’t run right now like I used to,” he told the Record-Journal. “I am pretty sure I could push the lawnmower but I haven’t tried.”

The timing was not good when it came to Zandri’s bid for reelection to the Town Council. A disagreement with the Democratic Town Committee had led to his decision not to seek the party’s endorsement. Instead, Zandri planned to petition his way on to the ballot in November.

That plan was defeated by his illness. Zandri received the paperwork needed for the petition on the day he experienced the attack, and was forced to miss the deadline for gathering signatures. So Zandri’s term on the council will end.

While this is certainly a disappointment for Zandri and his supporters, there’s no reason to expect it means an end to his career as a leader in Wallingford.

“I think that loss to be temporary,” said Craig Fishbein, a Republican councilor. “As to the community, it will never lose Jason Zandri, not for a very, very long time.”

What’s most important is for Zandri to focus on his health. If at some point he wants to return to town politics, we’ll support that as well.

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