Hi. For your latest Cheshire Election Day news and views come back to this Live Blog Event throughout the Day. Get updated voting number updates at each site in Cheshire along with news updates and interviews.
--DAN NOWAK, COMMUNICATIONS CHAIRMAN, CHESHIRE DEMOCRATIC TOWN COMMITTEE
8:10 p.m. - Final 8 p.m. vote tally from Norton School - 1,453 total ballots tallied. Combined with 447 at Doolittle, District 4 had a combined 1900 people voting.
7:35 p.m. - Report - As of 7 pm at Cheshire High there were 1600 ballots tallied for 34% voter turnout
7:25 p.m. - 901 people have voted at Highland School for 36% voter turnout so far.
7:05 p.m. - 7 p.m. update at Dodd Middle School - 489 have voted at Dodd, plus 29 absentee ballots represent 37.7% turnout so far
7 p.m. - Final hour of voting and counting down the minutes. Updates at Norton School and Doolittle School. At 6:30 p.m. there were 1,334 ballots collected at Norton. At Doolittle at 7 p.m., for District 5 there were 444 ballots tallied (out of 1191 registered voters) and for District 5/3 there were 166 ballots (out of 496 registered voters). In 2017 at Doolittle there were 415 total ballots for District 5 and 166 for District 5/3.
6:30 p.m. - Update at Highland School with 773 ballots recorded.
6:15 p.m. - Voting update at Dodd Middle School with 454 ballots tallied plus 29 absentee ballots representing 35.2% of voter turnout for the polling site.
5 p.m. - Voting updates at Highland, Dodd and Norton...With three hours to go for voting Highland School has jumped up to 710 votes tallied, representing 28.5 percent of the vote in District 2. At Dodd, 401 votes are in with 29 absentee ballots. Norton continues to see good turnout with 1,176 votes in so far compared to 1,000 votes at 6 p.m. at Norton in the 2017 local election.
4 p.m. - Norton, Highland & Dodd Updates: The impressive number of voters continue at Norton as the tally goes over the 1,000 mark with 1,018 so far. Dodd Middle School had 363 votes tallied at 4 p.m. plus 29 absentee ballots combining for a 28.5% voter turnout with 4 hours to go. At 3:45 p.m., Town Council (District 2) Democratic candidate Jim Jinks was voter No. 616 at Highland School.
3:30 p.m. - As of 3 p.m., 560 votes tallied at Highland School representing 22.4% of all the voters in District 2.
3:20 p.m. -Here is a 2:10 p.m update for voting numbers at Norton School. There were 813 votes tallied and that is just over a 100 votes more compared to the same time in the 2017 local election. Upward trend of voter turnout continues at Norton.
3:20 p.m. - Okay everyone, I'm back. Just needed to take break and get some of those crunchy Election Day buffalo wings at Cheshire Pizza. Now for more updates.
1:50 p.m. - A 1:20 p.m. update of voting at Cheshire High has the voting tally there rise to 875. Voter turnout continues to trend well in Cheshire.
1:30 p.m. - Report - One estimate from a knowledgeable source is that if voter turnout continues at current pace we could see about 40 percent voter turnout town wide. Typical voter turnout for a Cheshire local election is 29-32 percent.
1:20 p.m. - Here is a 1 p.m. update from Dodd Middle School. There were 262 votes accounting for 19.4 voter turnout for that site so far.
12:55 p.m. - Here is a 12:30 p.m. update from Highland School - 434 votes tallied at 17 percent voter turnout so far. Dodd Middle School turnout is at 16 percent.
12:38 p.m. - Norton School update - 694 votes tallied, In 2017 there were 699 votes at 1:55 p.m. Trend still indicates higher turnout.
12:35 p.m. - REPORT--Trump impact continues (see earlier post below) A voter walked up to Republican Town Council (District 2) candidate Guy Darter and Planning & Zoning alternate candidate Joe Grippo this morning at Highland School.
The voter asked them if they supported Trump. They said yes. The voter then said that's exactly why he's there today and why he's voting for Democrats.
There was also a voter who walked by Democratic candidates/supporters and the Republicans at Chapman School and said ''no Republicans.''
12:20 p.m. - As of 12:15 p.m. there were 430 votes tallied at the Arts Place voting site. This is about half the entire number of voters who voted in the 2017 local election - and we still have abput 7 1/2 hours of voting left.
12:15 p.m. - Judy Villa, Chairperson of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee, is cautiously optimistic with the positive news regarding high voter turnout so far.
"It's good news," Villa said. "Having a high voter turnout indicates that more people are tuned in to this local election. I would be curious to know if there is any kind of Trump affect.
"I'm hopeful we have high Democratic turnout because people have understood our message."
11:20 a.m. - At Doolittle School 188 votes tallied.
11:15 a.m. - Like other polling sites around Cheshire this morning, voting has been steady at Highland School with 350 votes tallied so far at the District 2 site. "It's been pretty impressive here with a steady stream of voters all morning," a spokesperson said. "That 350 is a strong number for this time of day in a (Cheshire) local election."
When I left Highland School there were about 10 people waiting to vote and the parking lot had a lot of cars.
10:50 a.m. - According to a spokesperson at Cheshire High "Voting has been steady all morning." As of 10:50 a.m. there were 550 votes tallied at the District 1 polling site. No one there had figures to compare to in 2015 or 2017 although one person said the traffic to that point was similar to the 2018 midterm elections (that day 54 percent of Cheshire voters came out to vote townwide).
9:45 a.m. - One Cheshire voter who wished to stay anonymous was adamant about voting only for Democrats and let Democratic supporters holding signs know it.
"I want you all to know I'm a Republican and I'm only voting Democrat today," the person said. "I'm telling everyone I know to vote Democrat because a vote for Republican is a vote for that lunatic in the White House (President Trump). My husband is a Republican and I convinced him to vote Democrat.
"I walked up to one Republican candidate I know and said I couldn't vote for them because, like I said before, a vote for a Republican is a vote for that lunatic in the White House."
9:30 a.m. - As of 9 a.m. numbers at Norton show an increase with 290 votes tallied at that time. In the 2017 local election there were 247 votes tallied at Norton at 9:10 a.m. and in the 2015 local election there were 258 votes tallied at 9:15 a.m. The spokesperson at Norton said voting was steady from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Democratic Town Council (District 4) incumbent Peter Talbot was at Norton with Democratic BOE candidates Anne Harrigan and Chris Affie.
"It's early but that 290 number is encouraging," Talbot said.
"I knocked on doors on Sunday and I got a good response then, with indications people were going to come out and vote," Harrigan said. "People have concerns with Republicans on the Town Council."
8:30 a.m,. - The following post will be the longest one I will post throughout the day as I present brief interviews, voting number updates and local political news throughout the day.
Will voting be typically light for a Cheshire local election with only 29-31 percent coming out to vote? Or will voting numbers be high and reflect the 50-60 percent of Cheshire voters (all voters combined) who came out to vote for the midterm elections in 2018?
Stay tuned and keep coming back here for updates. Obviously, I am here to promote our impressive Democratic candidates today.
However, the most important thing to note overall, if you are a Democrat, Republican or Unafilliated voter, is to exercise your basic right as an American and get out and vote today.
I actually have something in common with suffragist and Women’s Right To Vote activist Susan B. Anthony – we were both born in Adams, Massachusetts. I drive by her childhood home on 67 East R0oad in Adams, Massachusetts every time I go back home to visit family and friends. Her birthplace has been transformed into a historic museum that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right of American women to vote, has been referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. After it was ratified in 1920, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, whose policies were influenced by Anthony, was transformed into the League of Women Voters that we know today. It is still an active force in American politics as a nonpartisan organization committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Democratic process.
I bring up Susan B. Anthony mainly for two reasons.
She would be the first to tell you to get off your butt and get out and vote today, although based on her biography she might have stated that in a little stronger, more colorful way.
Second, I think Anthony would have been impressed to know that Democratic women in Cheshire have reached a milestone in this 2019 local election. We have 12 Democratic candidates (all offices combined) who are women, the most Democratic women to be on the same ballot in the same local election in Cheshire. You can read about it at this link - https://bit.ly/36zZXCp. Some are incumbents and they all have impressive backgrounds, experience and credentials -- committed to a focused effort of investment and growth in Cheshire. Read, hear (podcasts) and see (videos) of these exceptional female candidates and ALL the candidates at www.Cheshiredem.org.
8:05 a.m - New in town, wondering where to vote?
Cheshire Voting Locations By District:
District 1: Cheshire High School, 525 South Main Street
District 2: Chapman School, 38 Country Club Road
District 3: Artsplace, 1220 Waterbury Road
District 4: Norton School Gym, 414 N. Brooksvale Road
Districts 5 & 5-3: Doolittle School Gym, 735 Cornwall Avenue
District 6: Highland School, 490 Highland Avenue
District 7: Dodd Middle School, 100 Park Place
8 a.m. - Good morning Cheshire residents!
Not registered to vote? You have one option left for registering to vote ELECTION DAY. You can register today but only ‘in person at the Registrar’s Office in Cheshire Town Hall. For information, call the Registrar’s Office at the main number at 203 271-6680, or call Democratic Registrar of Voters Tom Smith at 203-271-6681 or Republican Registrar of Voters Susan Pappas at 203-271-6684.
The Cheshire Democratic Town Committee, Cheshire High Young Dems, friends of Democrats and Cheshire Democratic candidates held their annual stationary parade in front of Town Hall on Route 10 on Saturday (Nov, 2).
Above is a slideshow of photos from the event showing everyone's support for the Democratic candidates.
The trend of Democrats dominating the registration numbers in town continues. Here is a direct link bit.ly/2CcxpBg to a CALL TO ACTION for the 5,431 Democrats who are registered in Cheshire to get out and vote and make a difference on Tuesday for this local election cycle.
This is a CALL TO ACTION to the 5,431 Democrats who are registered in Cheshire as of Nov. 1.
In the Cheshire Registrar's Report released on Friday, the trend of Democratic voter registrations exceeding Republican registrations in town continues. On Oct. 1, there were 5,405 Democrats registered and 4.895 Republicans. On Friday (Nov. 1) there were 5,431 Democrats registered and 4,909 Republicans.
Cheshire is turning more blue than ever before. It is time for Cheshire Town government - specifically the Town Council - to reflect the resurgent and dominating party in town in 2019.
If you are among the 5,431 registered Democrats in Cheshire (see the chart above), if you want town leadership to reflect your Democratic ideals and your Democratic values, YOU NEED TO COME OUT AND VOTE ON NOV. 5.
Typically, there is only 29-30 percent of voter turnout in Cheshire during local elections. If all 5,431 Democrats came out to vote and ONLY voted for Democrats across ROW A, we would make history and crush this election.
In 2017, the local election Blue Wave saw 18 Connecticut municipalities go from red to blue. That blue wave is expected to continue on Tuesday. Cheshire has the registration numbers to be a part of that 2019 Blue Wave movement.
Cheshire Democrats - MAKE AN IMPACT AND MAKE THE REGISTRATION NUMBERS WORK FOR US. Take 10 minutes of your time and cast your vote on Tuesday. Don't allow the minority party to rule the majority party.
VOTE on Tuesday because you know the Democratic party is the party of investment and growth. Our Democratic candidates will make things happen now instead of kicking issues down the road for future generations - our children - to deal with in town.
NEED TO REGISTER?: It is now too late to be guaranteed of getting an absentee ballot if applying by mail. Absentee ballot applications and the ballots themselves will, however, be available until close of business at the Town Clerk’s office on Monday.
The deadline for new registrations was Oct. 29. The remaining option for someone wishing to register and vote on November 5 is election day registration, which will be available at the Town Clerk’s office during regular polling hours.
The Connecticut Young Democrats organization has endorsed a pair of Cheshire Democratic candidates for this local election - Fiona Pearson, a Town Council candidate in District 1, and Board of Education candidate Chris Affie.
Pearson and Affie are among 35 endorsements statewide recently by the Connecticut Young Democrats, which is a chapter of the Young Democrats of America.
"I am honored to be recognized and endorsed by Connecticut chapter of Young Democrats for my municipal candidacy this November 5th," Pearson said. "I strongly believe in the issues they support, and if elected, look forward to working with them and others to push forward for positive change in our town and state."
According to its website, the Young Democrats of America is the largest youth-led, partisan political organization in the nation. The Young Democrats of America mobilizes young people under the age of 36 to participate in the electoral process to elect Democrats, influence the ideals of the Democratic Party, advocate for progressive issues, and train the next generation of progressive leaders. The Young Democrats of America has over 150,000 members nation-wide in chapters in 49 states and U.S. territories – including high-school and college students, young workers, young professionals, and young families.
"I am proud of this endorsement because we need the youth to vote and be active in all elections," Affie said. "I am happy that they feel I can represent them in Cheshire. We need to embrace new voices in local, state and national elections."
Sen. Chris Murphy gives Candidates a pep talk at Cheshire Democratic Headquarters; urges Democrats to get out and vote on Nov. 5
CHESHIRE, CT--Sen. Chris Murphy made an appearance at Cheshire Democratic headquarters on Sunday and urged candidates, Democratic volunteers and all Democrats in town to have their family members and friends "plugged in" in an effort to get them to come out and vote.
Democratic headquarters was filled with a standing-room only crowd to hear what Murphy had to say, take some selfies and discuss politics one-on-one with the Senator.
Murphy has sold his home in Cheshire to move closer to family. But Murphy said Cheshire will always be a special place for him.
"It's great to be back home in Cheshire, a place that means an enormous amount to me and Cathy (his wife Cathy Holahan) and the boys," Murphy said. "Your success means so much to us. When we moved to Cheshire a decade ago it was a Republican town. When we registered as Democrats we knew we were in the minority. Today, we have more registered Democrats by a decent margin in a town that I don't think people would have imagined would be the case.
"I was in Orange today and I think of Orange as a very Republican town. Orange now has more registered Democrats than it has Republicans. This is a trend happening all across the state. We just have to make sure that the representation in town government reflects the registration here in Cheshire. So we have some work to do for (Town Council candidates) Patti Flynn-Harris, Peter Talbot, Jeff Falk and the whole team campaigning for Town Council, Board of Education and everyone else who has their name on the ballot."
Murphy went on to discuss the national scene and local government.
"There has never been a clear connection between our success at the local level and the fights we are engaged in at the national level,"Murphy said. "I've been thinking about it in a little bit different way the last few days because I hate the fact that we are involved in an impeachment inquiry. Regarding the impeachment of the president of the United States, that's a horrible advertisement for our nation.
"But there is a covenant that you make with the people when you inherit the world's most powerful job. Nobody has more power than the president of the United States and there is one basic promise you have to make and that promise is that you do not use the massive powers entrusted to you for personal, financial or political gain. You use those powers on behalf of the people you represent. And when you violate that trust, when you breach that covenant, there has to be a consequence."
Murphy believes the connection with local government can be more impactful for residents and it is why he believes local elections are so important.
"So that's the process we are engaged in today," Murphy said. "It is interesting how the republican argument against impeachment has changed. They now can't deny what happened, it is now very clear that the president was trading the credibility of the United States to try to get help to destroy his political opponent. So in the last few days, instead of arguing that he didn't do it, now they're arguing that everybody does it. Their new take is that everybody is corrupt. This is how politics works. It's a body blow to our Democracy. Our Democracy is fragile now because of the assault the president has waged on it.
"That's why I've been thinking about this in the context of a local election. People, their thoughts on government, first and foremost often connect it with the people who represent them locally. They may be losing faith in the quality of national leadership. But frankly, very few people are going to be able to sit down and talk to a U.S. Senator. They are absolutely going to be able to sit down and have a conversation with their Council member, with a member of their Board of Education. If we elect more people and combine compassion and common sense, elect a slate of Democratic candidates who are talking about transparency at Town Hall, including more people in the conversation with what happens there, it's really about breathing more life in Democracy."
Murphy ended his speech by stressing the importance of getting Democrats to get out and vote.
"Years ago the strategy might have been a little different," Murphy said. "Now, with more registered Democrats in Cheshire than Republicans, it is more important than ever to really focus on getting Democrats to get out and vote. Many register as Democrats for the national elections, for voting for president. But it all starts with making an impact in local elections. Democrats need to get out and vote on Election Day (Nov. 5)."
Women in politics isn’t something new.
The mid-term election cycle in 2018 was tabbed the “Year of the Woman” in politics. But the original “Year of the Woman” in politics actually was in 1992 when a large contingent of women was elected to the U.S. Congress.
The difference between 1992 and 2018-2019 is the numbers.
The Blue Wave in the 2018 mid-term elections produced 41 seats that Democrats flipped from red to blue. Out of those 41 seats, 23 were won by women. Among the 25 original Democratic candidates for president a record number of six women were running for president.
The national numbers have certainly trickled down to the local level in Cheshire with the Democratic slate of candidates (all office positions combined) reflecting the trend with a record number 12 Democratic women running for election in a single local election year.
The 12 Democratic women running for office in Cheshire are Town Council candidates Patti Flynn Harris (At-Large), Lynn Alvey Dawson (At-Large) and Fiona Pearson (District 1); Board of Education candidates Jami Ferguson, Anne Harrigan and Sam Rosenberg; Zoning Board of Appeals candidate Christine Norton; Planning and Zoning Alternate Casey Downes; Zoning Board of Appeals candidate Breina Schain; Board of Assessment Appeals candidates Laura DeCaprio and Kathleen Held; and Constable candidate Aleta Looker.
“I would say that Cheshire’s stellar field of Democratic women candidates reflects a national movement fueled by several grassroots organizations that address women’s and families’ issues,” Cheshire Democratic Town Committee Chairperson Judy Villa said. “Organizations such as Emerge, Emily’s List, MoveOn.org, Indivisible, and Planned Parenthood have encouraged women to run for a seat at the table.
“Locally, women have been the bedrock of municipal service for years in PTAs/PTOs, faith-based charities, and civic groups. Women have stepped up to volunteer for generations; now they recognize their skills of communication, collaboration, and strategic planning employed in their professions and in their volunteerism are more necessary than ever in the age of government stalemates and divisiveness. Our Democratic women candidates have careers in law, education, business, insurance, real estate, accounting, and social services--all backgrounds valuable to government positions.”
Villa urges Cheshire residents to visit the CDTC’s website www.cheshiredem.org to learn about the fabulous women who are anxious to make Cheshire a better community.
Below are 12 Democratic women running for public office in Cheshire with comments on what led them to decide to run for office and what they hope to accomplish.
ALETA LOOKER, CONSTABLE CANDIDATE: “Ninety-nine years have passed since the passage of the 19th amendment. Finally, in our local election, Democratic women candidates reflect the male-female population division. If only it were similar in state and federal elected bodies.”
CHRISTINE NORTON, ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS CANDIDATE: I am interested in economic development that enhances the town's character and strengths, preserving neighborhoods, and taking into account location and available space.
PATTI FLYNN-HARRIS, TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE, AT-LARGE: “I’ve had the good fortune to serve the residents of the town on the Town Council for the past 6 years and previously, 14 years on the Planning & Zoning Commission. With the challenges the town faces from the changing state environment, I would like to continue using my knowledge and experience in helping to guide the town and ensure that it continues to be the great town that it is. As a taxpayer like everyone else, I’m concerned how we keep Cheshire affordable, so I’m very interested in the growth of the tax base and the economic development of the town. I’m also very aware of the need to balance the financial challenges from the state with the needs of the town, especially in the schools and the infrastructure of the town.”
FIONA PEARSON, TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE, 1ST DISTRICT: “I first realized that I could and should run for office after November of 2016 and the Women's March in Washington, D.C. on January 20th of 2017. The energy on that day was palpable and life changing. For my daughters and for our collective future, I understood more deeply than ever before that we need more women at all levels of politics to move from the back lines to the front lines. I have been talking with many women who have recently entered into politics and I am hearing similar refrains. Change will only happen when we make it happen.
“I am running for office because I want to energize our town and realize our potential. We must improve collaboration and communication between the Town Council, Board of Education, our town's senior administrators, and local organizations. In strengthening relationships between town stakeholders, we will grow and thrive as community. Working together, we can create a vibrant future for all in Cheshire.”
CASEY DOWNES, PLANNING AND ZONING ALTERNATE CANDIDATE: “For me, running for a local public office has always been in the back of my mind. I finally decided this was the year to “step in” and put myself out there. My husband grew up here, and two of my adult children have chosen to live here as well, which gives me more incentive to give back to my community. I have always been interested in land usage so Planning & Zoning just seems liked a natural fit. I know there have been women on the Planning & Zoning Commission in the past. There just aren’t any now, I am certainly hoping to change that! I believe the Planning & Zoning Commission has the most important job to do. The future of our community rests upon the decisions that are made by the Commission. I currently have the time to dedicate myself to this endeavor and look forward to working for the town of Cheshire.”
LYNN ALVEY DAWSON, TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATE, AT-LARGE: “Why so many women have stepped up? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I was definitely motivated by the election of Donald Trump. His clearly demonstrated attitudes toward women as objects for his pleasure, the statements he made on the Access Hollywood tape and other evidence of his disregard for women disgusted me and made me fearful for our future. The fact that so many male representatives in Congress failed to call him out on this behavior suggests that this continues to be a pervasive attitude. How can we sit by and allow our representatives in Congress and the White House to dismiss and fail to take seriously half the population?
“In my career, I have been the subject of sexual harassment and discrimination. We can no longer sit back and hope or expect that men will wake up and pay attention to this problem. As women, we owe it to our children and our grandchildren to take a stance and fight for the equality that we deserve. Women must lead.”
Dawson said if she is elected, her goal is to involve more citizens in the process.
“On many levels our governments have become disconnected from the people they represent. If elected, I would represent every person in this town, regardless of whether they voted for me. My plan is to reach out to the residents and keep them informed of what is happening and get their input and opinions on the decisions that are being made. Ultimately, this is not about me, it is about the people in Cheshire.
“As a family law attorney, one of my primary functions is to listen to my clients and work to get the best outcome I can for them and their families. This often requires negotiation and compromise. My clients are frequently angry and emotional. Reaching an equitable solution often requires thinking outside of the box. I hope to bring my listening, creativity and negotiating skills to Town Hall for the betterment of this town.”
SAM ROSENBERG, BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE: “Throughout history, women have always found themselves on the back burners. They have been put into this “seen, not heard” box thus resulting in the need to ensure that they are viewed at similar to our male counterparts; starting with the suffrage movement and continuing. Now more than ever, I believe this is all part of keeping that spirit of equal rights at the forefront. Initially driven by the revulsion of Trump as well as any party that are helping to support him who don’t see women as equals, they marched with their pink hats!
“As the frustration builds at the lack of care about the needs of citizens, specifically women’s rights starting at the national level and trickling down to state, and local, women are finding it more necessary and have been empowered to take matters into their own hands. Most women in town have been in some way affected by what is happening at the national level, and want to help shift that balance of power, but they also believe that the more women in office will help to elevate issues and draw support from both sides of the political aisle. A large number of these women running are Democrats.”
Rosenberg brings a lot to the table that will make an impact for residents.
“I am an educator by profession and an avid volunteer who is involved in various associations that support the healthy growth and development of children and how they learn. Being an accomplished educator with years of classroom experience, a parent who has played an active role through the years, and a current administrator combined with my direct but respectful style, will be useful when collaborating with school community members in finding solutions to our district’s challenges. My established skill sets will continue to ensure we maintain the high-quality public education that makes us one of the best educational small towns in the country.”
ANNE HARRIGAN, BOARD OF EDUCATION: "I am running for re-election to the BOE because, while we have achieved much over the past four years towards our overarching goals of Complex Thinking and Social Emotional Learning, there is still unfinished business. Learning walks throughout our schools have helped teachers and administrators identify and share best practices for helping students at all grade levels achieve complex thinking to their greatest capacity. The students, themselves, have presented a myriad of programs and activities they are involved in to promote social and emotional well-being in our schools. However, there is still more work to do in order to preempt and decrease instances of bullying, inappropriate, and mean-spirited behavior in our schools. Our children are under immense societal pressures these days, and many need help to identify and alleviate anxieties and other serious mental health issues. With fewer services available in our communities, the social, emotional and mental health of our children falls more and more to public schools. I am committed to making sure Cheshire Public Schools is doing as much as possible to address the social emotional well-being of all children in our community."
JAMI FERGUSON, BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE: “Volunteer non-profit organizations are a vital part of our town. My children have been active in many organized activities including, Cheshire Youth Baseball, Cheshire Junior Football and Cheer, Cheshire Soccer Club and the Cheshire High School Marching Ram Band. The people who give of themselves to benefit all of our town’s children, in these organizations and others like them, form the bedrock of Cheshire and are a true blessing to our community. Our small business owners and parent support groups make substantial donations annually to subsidize athletics, recreation and enrichment activities. As our budget gets tighter, their burden becomes heavier. I'm concerned we are getting to a tipping point, where the sweat equity and donating some of your profits isn't worth the mill rate. I commit to do whatever I can as a Board member to remove obstacles and facilitate policy reforms to assist Cheshire’s giving community, they deserve it.”
BREINA SCHAIN, ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS CANDIDATE: ”Upon reflection, I believe that the pendulum has been steadily moving in the direction of women becoming more assertive, stepping forward in leadership roles, being involved in their communities and beyond, and advocating for theirs and others’ well-deserved rights. Part of this is due to their becoming more educated and going to top rated schools such as Yale University. Also, this woman’s movement has been a long struggle (violent at times) going back in time, to gaining the right to vote. It should be noted that great women are documented in the Bible and we can learn from reading about this in history. However, there are eminent women in all fields who are role models, including in politics, such as Golda Meir (Prime Minister of Israel) and other such women who led their countries as Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Theresa May of Great Britain and Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan (the first “Muslim” prime minister).
"I also want to mention other courageous women who have great conviction such as Ellen DeGeneres, who openly helped others to not be ashamed of their sexuality. Other role models are, of course, Hillary Clinton, who most assuredly relayed aspiration and confidence to women to enter politics and even run for President. Women have become more empowered by the “Me Too” movement and now feel more comfortable discussing sexual assault after hearing similar accounts of others, such as in the sports (athletic field) and even from popular actresses, etc. In fact, there are two very brave women, whom I both admire. One, involving the Supreme Court, is Dr. Blaisey Ford (uncannily similar to Anita Hill) who exposed the “predator”, Brett Kavanaugh on a public platform and the other is the youth, Greta Thurberg, who took a firm and public stand for crucially needed climate control. In summary, our society has gradually evolved and generally, people currently respect all genders for their potential as human beings. Furthermore, just as more women are more gainfully employed then in the past, they are simultaneously assuming their justly qualified leadership positions, including running for office here in Cheshire.
"I am the type of person who usually is not content to just sit back and observe in the organizations where I choose to spend my time. I enjoy stepping forward and volunteering to take leadership positions. For instance, even as a young adult after graduating college, I started and ran two successful organizations, one being a bible study group and another was a bowling league. My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and minor in Music from SCSU. My Master’s degree is in Community Counseling with a thesis written on Animal-Assisted Therapy. I’ve been on the Board of Directors of three organizations including the Alumni Association at WCSU, Quinnipiac River Watershed Association and Threshholds (a course helping the inmates in prison to make better decisions in their lives). At Threshholds, I originated the idea and helped to write a manual for the inmates to keep about the course. My past jobs include working for the Social Security Administration, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Better Business Bureau as a Mediator, and CT Consumer Protection as a Product Safety Inspector. Other state positions were at the CT Labor Department and Social Services. I have now retired after having worked at the Department of Correction in the Counseling Departments at four prisons in Connecticut.
"More currently, since I’ve lived in Cheshire for about twelve years, I’ve volunteered with my certified therapy dog, Trevor, at the library, and grammar school for reading programs. We worked to alleviate stress in three universities at exam times, and at nursing homes to work with patients and their families. As a local volunteer, I’ve worked for the Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Library, and in the medical response team at Chesprocott Health Safety District. For instance, recently, I’ve met with leaders in the community and presented them with a written document detailing a program for high school students to become more acquainted and involved in town government. This was met with a positive reaction.
"My political career began when I was appointed to the Historic District Commission and thereafter, when I was elected to my present position on the Zoning Board of Appeals. I find that I can apply my State and Federal knowledge of regulations and skills to help achieve resolutions. Furthermore, it is fulfilling for me to be in a position to help others.
In summary, I feel humbled, grateful and personally satisfied for an opportunity to work in town government, meet my neighbors and be in a position to be of assistance. Hopefully, others can become similarly motivated to become involved in our community as it is a wonderful, enriching experience.”
LAURA DECAPRIO, BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS CANDIDATE, AND KATHLEEN HELD, BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS CANDIDATE, could not be reached for this story.
Cheshire Democratic Registrar of Voters Tom Smith and Cheshire Republican Registrar of Voters Susan Pappas have released a joint press release serving as a public service announcement with important updated voter information for all Cheshire voters.
According to the press release....
Cheshire residents who are not registered to vote face a one-week deadline for registering prior to the Nov. 5 municipal election. Oct. 29 is the deadline for voter registrations submitted in person or received by mail and online.
The Elections Office will be open until 8 p.m. There will also be a limited registration session on Nov. 4 until 5 p.m., only for those who become U.S. citizens, move into town, or turn 18 the week before Election Day.
Connecticut citizens can register in person throughout the year at the Registrars of Voters office at Town Hall, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.. Registration is also available online, by mail, through DMV or the Secretary of the State’s website, at the Town Clerk’s office, and at the public library.
For details and links, view the Elections Department page at www.cheshirect.org or call the office at (203) 271-6680.
Absentee ballots are administered in Connecticut by town clerks (not the Elections Department, which is responsible for counting the returned ballots). Absentee ballot applications are now available at the Town Clerk’s office and online: http://www.cheshirect.org/voting-and-elections/absentee-ballots/
All of the normal Cheshire polling places will be open on Nov. 5 from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.. Voters who live in District 5-3, which only exists in municipal election years, will vote at Doolittle School as usual.
For additional voter information go to the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee website voter information page at bit.ly/2BkZVAa.
CHESHIRE--If this summer's trend of voter registration was any indication, this year’s local election is going to be an interesting one in Cheshire, especially for Democratic candidates.
In the summer of 2018, according to input and official registration numbers provided by Cheshire Democratic Registrar Tom Smith, the trends indicated a Blue Wave was on the rise in the town of Cheshire.
While there has been a slight increase of Democrats in town over the years, since 2014 the Democratic voter registrations have increased to the point where on Aug. 23 there were 477 more Democrats than Republicans in Cheshire. As of Sept. 3, that number rose to 481 more Democrats than Republicans. Smith believes it’s the largest lead by Democratic voters over Republicans in the 30 years he has worked in the Registrar’s office.
“We always get an increase in registrations as Election Day gets closer,” Smith said. “It’s hard to say why the trend continues in the favor of Democrats. It’s likely due to a combination of things.
“The problem is we don’t see as much of the public in the Registrar’s office like we used to. Years ago, the only way to register to vote was coming in to the Registrar’s office. Today, you can go online to register, or to DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), the public library, and you can register in high school or other ways. Because fewer people come into the Registrar’s office these days, it’s tough to get a feel for what people are thinking.”
With the lead in registration numbers Democrats have enjoyed in recent years, you would think Cheshire Democrats would be making a dent in a town that has been mostly red, particularly on the Town Council. While the voter registration numbers slightly favored Dems in the past, the real driving force in Cheshire local elections has been Unaffiliated registered voters who have dominated both Democrats and Republicans 2-1.
However, it is hard to ignore the current trend.
More Democrats are registering than Republicans. If you also consider that many Unaffiliateds switched to Democrats to vote in the 2018 primary, in my opinion it is an indicator that the Blue Wave has arrived in Cheshire.
And speaking of Unaffiliated voters.... the tough nut to crack for Democrats over the years has been two-fold.
First, we are a town where only about 30 percent of voters typically come out and vote in local elections. If the majority of Cheshire Democrats came out to vote, it would certainly make a bigger impact for Democrats. Many tend to stay home during local elections. Those Democrats – the ones who stay home--need to exercise one of their most precious rights as an American citizen and vote this election cycle.
Second, there are the Unaffiliated voters who have the numbers to sway a Cheshire local election one way or the other every election cycle. Here is where Cheshire Democratic candidates might start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel on Election Day (Nov. 5).
A year ago we had our mid-term elections with primaries for both parties held on Aug. 14, 2018. In order to vote in a Democratic primary, you need to be a registered Democrat and to vote in a Republican primary you need to be a registered Republican. Typically, in order to vote in a primary, many Democrat-leaning or Republican-leaning Unaffiliated voters will switch to Democrat or Republican. Last year, at one point with about a week to go before the primary, the Unaffiliated switch to a party favored Democrats 4-1.
When you add in the increase in Democratic registered voters, could we be seeing a perfect storm brewing here? I think so.
At the risk of repeating myself, I think this is important for Cheshire Democrats to grasp. While getting Dem-leaning Unaffiliateds to come out and vote is important, if you look at the chart below, especially the current numbers, if the majority of Democrats came out to vote they would make a huge difference in Cheshire on Election Day.
CHESHIRE VOTER REGISTRATION NUMBERS
Dems Rep. Unaff. Other Total
Oct. 1, 2019 5,405 4,895 8,629 265 19,194
Sept. 3, 2019 5,377 4,896 8,619 263 19,155
Aug. 23, 2019 5,371 4,894 8,608 264 19,137
Aug. 6, 2019 5,352 4,890 8,593 262 19,096
Aug. 2, 2019 5,347 4,895 8,584 262 19,088
Aug. 2, 2018 5,152 4,732 8,496 229 18,609
Aug. 5, 2014 4,421 4,135 7,970 124 16,650
From August. 2, 2018 to Aug. 2, 2019, there was an increase of 195 Democratic voters, 163 Republicans and an increase of 88 Unaffiliateds. More recent increases are slight but do reflect the Democratic trend. From Aug. 6 to Aug. 23, there was an increase of 19 registered Democrats and only four Republicans. The interesting item is between Sept. 3 and Oct. 1 the Republicans actually lost one registered voter.
The numbers don’t lie. But to make the numbers work to turn Cheshire red to blue, Democrats and Dem-leaning Unaffiliateds need to get out and vote.
Cheshire crowds gather at Fall Festival, "Jimmies with Jimmy" event to meet Cheshire Democratic Candidates
It was a busy weekend (Sept. 14-15) for Cheshire Democratic candidates at the annual Cheshire Fall Festival, sponsored by the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, and with the "Jimmies with Jimmy" ice cream social and fundraiser for Cheshire Democrat District 2 Town Council candidate Jim Jinks.
Above in a photo slideshow are some weekend snapshots of both events.
FALL FESTIVAL -- Despite some brief heavy downpours on Saturday at the Fall Festival, a continuous stream of Cheshire residents gathered at the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee tent throughout the day. Residents were able to get information about the current local election candidates from CDTC members and the Democratic candidates themselves.
"JIMMIES WITH JIMMY" --On Sunday with a better weather, the "Jimmies with Jimmy" campaign kickoff event was held at Old Bishop Farms and hosted by R.J. Anderson, Jodi Bemis and Pam Daniels.
CHESHIRE—At the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee monthly meeting, Courtney Cullinan was voted by the CDTC membership to become Vice-Chairperson. Cullinan takes over immediately for Jim Jinks, founder of Bike Cheshire, who stepped down as CDTC Vice-Chair to focus on and pursue his campaign for District 2 Town Council.
"I would like to thank the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee for their unanimous support for me to serve as the next Vice Chair," Cullinan said. "I am excited to get to work with the committee and utilize my experience in state politics to continue to strengthen our local Democratic party.
"It is with great optimism that I embark on this new and exciting challenge. Once again I would like to thank the members and leadership of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee for their trust and support."
Cullinan brings a wealth of government experience to the position. She is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy at the Connecticut Senate Democrats. Other past positions with the State Senator Democrats include Director of Legislative Services and Deputy Director, Constituent Services.
The CDTC Vice-Chairperson’s duties include presiding over CDTC meetings when the Chairperson isn’t available, assist in policy decisions, connect and work with CDTC subcommittees and assist in the coordination of the campaigns of local candidates.
Chairperson Judy Villa said, “Courtney brings significant expertise to us, which she will employ to help elect our excellent Democratic slate.”
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter for the New Haven Register for 34 years.