A Unified Democratic Town Committee Endorses New Slate of Candidates

The candidates are (from left): Nicola Davies, Frank Bria, Bo Mitchell, Pam Ely, Keith Denning, Dick Ziegler, Bas Nabulsi, Eric Fanwick, Ernie Ricco, Debbie Low and Ken Hoffman. (Missing from photo: Sandy Arkell, Tom Gunther, Jaclyn Coleman and Bob Wallace)

UPDATED: Thursday, July 22, 11:15 a.m.

Wednesday night, July 21, the Wilton Democratic Town Committee (WDTC) chose its slate of candidates for the 2021 municipal elections.

While a quorum of WDTC members assembled in person for the task at hand, the meeting was not officially a caucus, the customary format, which would have allowed any Democrat to vote on the slate. Instead, only the WDTC members present could vote on the slate. Decision-makers at the state party level had made the decision to change the format statewide at a time of uncertainty about the pandemic. By the time it was determined that people could safely gather, the deadline had passed to change back to a caucus format.

The candidates who had been selected for each spot by the DTC’s nominating committee were introduced as the endorsed candidates. No additional nominations challenging the slate were made from the floor. The slate was approved as one vote and was approved unanimously.

WDTC Vice-chair Victoria Rossi and fellow member Melissa Spohn are serving as 2021 campaign co-chairs.

The candidates in the running for the major seats include two candidates for the Board of Selectmen — Bas Nabulsi and Keith Denning. Notably missing from the Democrats’ nominees was the incumbent, Selectwoman Deb McFadden.

McFadden contacted GMW to confirm she would not be running for reelection and thanked her past supporters.

“I won’t be on the Board of Selectmen, but I still want to be involved in the community. I just want to thank everybody who has been supportive of me over all the years that I have served in a public position,” she said. “I’m grateful for the times that I’ve had to serve on the Board of Selectmen and to represent another viewpoint and to continue the conversation about all the important issues that the Democrats have.”

McFadden added, “I just think the candidates we have nominated this year — Bas [Nabulsi] and Keith [Denning] for Board of Selectmen in particular — are really outstanding. I’m looking forward to a robust campaign. It will be headed by Vicki [Rossi] and Melissa [Spohn] again and they do a spectacular job.”

The DTC candidates nominated for the two other major boards included two candidates for the Board of Finance — Sandy Arkell (an appointed incumbent running for her first 4-year term) and newcomer Frank Bria (slated to run for the 2-year term); and three candidates for the Board of Education — incumbent (and current chair) Debbie Low, and first-time candidates Pam Ely and Nicola Davies.

WDTC chair Tom Dubin offered a statement about the slate. “Wilton Democrats are delighted with an especially strong slate of candidates who will be running to serve our town this fall,” Dubin said. “They each bring important professional and community achievements. Even more important they each bring a high level of engagement and desire to make Wilton work for all of us.”

The Full WDTC Slate

Board of Selectmen: Bas Nabulsi and Keith Denning

Board of Finance (4-year term): Sandy Arkell (incumbent appointee)

Board of Finance (2-year term): Frank Bria

Board of Education: Debbie Low (incumbent), Pam Ely and Nicola Davies

Planning & Zoning (4-year term): Eric Fanwick (incumbent) and Ken Hoffman

Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA): Tom Gunther (incumbent) and Jaclyn Coleman (incumbent)

Board of Assessment Appeals: Bob Wallace (incumbent appointee)

Constable: Bo Mitchell (incumbent), Ernie Ricco (incumbent) and Dick Ziegler

Immediately following the vote, Rossi exclaimed, “I’m so excited about the quality of the candidates!”

Spohn also gave a statement, hinting at the upcoming campaign. “Our campaign will be focused on listening to our neighbors, collaborating to create a positive vision for what our town can be, and ensuring Wilton thrives for years to come,” she said.

In a change from the earlier 2019-2021 “Listen to Wilton” platform, Rossi made a motion to adopt the state party platform going forward. The WDTC members unanimously voted in favor.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include comments from Selectwoman Deb McFadden.