Former Republican gets Democrat nomination for Fairfield special election
FAIRFIELD — A fired up Democratic Town Committee unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed Kevin Kiley — a former Republican — to run for a seat on the Board of Selectmen in the June 6 special election.
“I love Fairfield, it’s my home and a special place to raise a family,” Kiley said, as he accepted the nomination Monday night. “I love public service and being part of the solution, not a bystander. I believe in activism.”
Kiley previously served on the Board of Selectmen, but was rejected by the Republican Town Committee in 2015, who chose Laurie McArdle to be Chris Tymniak’s running mate. Both Tymniak and McArdle were elected to the board, but McArdle resigned last December, one year into a four-year term.
Republican Ed Bateson was appointed by Tymniak and First Selectman Mike Tetreau to fill the vacancy, but a special election was called after Democrats collected enough petition signatures and a Superior Court judge order the election be held. Tymniak and Bateson had refused to set a date, claiming there could not be a special election since the vacancy was filled within 30 days.
Prior to his stint on the Board of Selectmen, Kiley was a longtime member of the Board of Finance, at one point serving as its chairman. He was also a member of the Representative Town Meeting.
“He really values people over politics,” Tetreau said, when he put Kiley’s name into nomination. “I miss working with someone that intelligent, that articulate, and that professional.” He said Kiley has been a srong supporter of tax relief for the town’s seniors, and for its school system.
Though he is the first selectman, and serves as the board’s chairman, Tetreau is in the minority on the Board of Selectmen.
“We need the majority back,” Tetreau said. Tetreau served with Kiley on the Board of Finance.
“We’re both thrilled he can run, and, frankly, he’s what we need,” Marmion said. Marmion, now on the Board of Finance, had served as selectman with Kiley but lost re-election in 2015 when Tymniak received 68 more votes.
“Our discussions were transparent, they were informative, and they were held with mutual respect,” Marmion said. “There was no political BS, it was a dialogue.”
There is a little over two months until the special election.
“This is a very exciting time for residents because this is what democracy looks like,” DTC Chairman Steven Sheinberg said., adding that a leader from the GOP told him that “’we have been defeated at every step of the process.’ You have one more defeat coming on June 6.”
“I am rested, and I am ready to stand up for our values,” Kiley said. “If we work together, we will remain a great community for generations to come.”