Bindelglass wins second term as Easton first selectman

EASTON — In what he claimed was a victory of transparency over misinformation, First Selectman David Bindelglass won the race for the town’s top seat.

“We had a message of transparency,” he said. “We told people what we were doing. There was a tremendous amount of misinformation thrown at us about my positions on all kinds of things. I think the voters saw through what was misinformation.”

An incumbent, First Selectman David Bindelglass is projected to have beaten Board of Education member Jeff Parker with a vote count of 1613 to Parker’s 1491, according to town Democrats. Parker confirmed those numbers, admitting he lost.

At his house surrounded by candidates on the underticket and supporters, Bindelglass said the victory was the result of a phenomenal team effort.

“This is a great effort and I believe this is a great day for Easton,” he said. “I will promise to do my best to make you proud for all the work you guys did. The work doesn’t stop. We’ll roll up our sleeves and we’ll get to work for Easton.”

On a phone call, Parker said Easton is divided like never before, adding he is happy to help Bindelglass unite residents however he can.

“The most important thing.. is what’s in the best interest of Easton,” Parker said.

Bindelglass, a Democrat, was elected in 2019 and inherited Easton on the verge of a pandemic. The 62-year-old town leader is an orthopedic surgeon and chief of orthopedics at Bridgeport Hospital.

Earlier this month, Bindelglass said that while most of his first year dealt with managing the pandemic, they were able to pass many ordinances and provide several services to put Easton into a better position going forward. However, he believes this is just the start and there is more to come.

“I think there’s a lot more work that needs to be done,” Bindelglass said. “We’ve greatly increased participation from the public, but we have a way to go. I think there are still far too many people in the town that we still haven’t reached to inform them about the issues of the day.”

Bindelglass said the pandemic contributed to the increase in communication.

Bindelglass pointed to how he kept the town running during the pandemic and Hurricane Ida as major achievements during his tenure, noting other towns struggled to do so. He said Easton was also able to return students back to school and open the senior centers before many other towns were able to do so in Fairfield County.

Parker, 71, ran as the Republican candidate with the goals to bring the community back together and to protect Easton’s land and water.

Parker was also the catalyst for an investigation into the Easton school board that was started after he forwarded emails from parents to a local activist connected with the Save Our Schools group, which has been outspoken in combating measures being taken by the district to promote equity and inclusion in school. Parker has since apologized.

Parker has said when someone thinks about Easton, they think of land and water and the zoning laws put into place decades ago were done to protect those two things.

“If not handled correctly, it could change the face of Easton forever,” Parker said.

Parker noted he was inspired to run for public office by his late wife, Joan.

“I was inspired to run for the Board of Education in 2011,” Parker said. “My wife, who had been a special ed teacher, special ed director and the principal of Helen Keller Middle School, passed away in 2010 and was the driving force for me to run for the Board of Education.”

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com