WALLINGFORD — The local Republican Town Committee endorsed 13 candidates Wednesday evening for the fall election, including a 19-year-old newcomer for school board as the current board chairwoman steps down.
“We’ve got a couple new people,” said Chris DiGenova, Republican town chairman, but “we’ve got a good slate of incumbents who know what they’re doing…”
The party met at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School, nominating candidates for mayor, Town Council and Board of Education.
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.
“If you look around Wallingford, I think people in general are happy with how Wallingford is run,” DiGenova said.
Board of Education
School board candidates include incumbents Karen Hlavac, Erin Corso, Ray Ross and Tammy Raccio, who recently switched parties.
The Republicans also endorsed Rajan Doering, 19, who graduated from Sheehan High School in 2018 and attends Quinnipiac University.
“As a recent graduate, Rajan possesses first-hand knowledge of our district,” said Hlavac, who nominated Doering. “He has timely information about our school system which he can share from the perspective of a student.”
Autumn Allinson, a logistics operation specialist with Unilever, rounds out the slate of school board candidates.
She was absent from the caucus Wednesday due to work, said her husband, Steve Allinson, a Planning and Zoning Commission alternate member, who accepted the nomination on her behalf.
Current chairwoman Roxane McKay, a Republican, is stepping down after 14 years on the school board, 10 of which she served as board chair.
“I’ve met amazing educators,” McKay said Thursday. “I’ve worked with some outstanding board members, but I’m ready for a change.”
Town Council candidates include incumbents Vincent Cervoni, Tom Laffin, Christopher Shortell, Craig Fishbein and Joseph Marrone.
Christina Tatta, party vice chair, was nominated to run after incumbent councilor John LeTourneau announced last month he won’t seek re-election.
Tatta works at her family’s business – Central Auto Auction in Hamden – as the lead bookkeeper and corporate secretary. She’s also secretary of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
“I’m an alternate on that board,” said Robert Parisi, who nominated Tatta, “and I have to say that I am impressed with her efficiency and her ability to keep that commission on a straight course.”
Cervoni, who was on vacation, accepted the nomination in song via a video, singing a parody of “I Thank You” by Sam & Dave.
William W. Dickinson Jr. received the mayoral nomination and is running for a 19th consecutive term as mayor.
“His ability to work with everyone, to have budgets that are well-balanced, without overspending, and having funds in reserve has been extremely good for all of Wallingford,” said Bob Prentice, who nominated the mayor.
Dickinson said he believes that elected officials “have the confidence of the people in our community. We must endeavor to never betray that confidence.”