The Election 2022 races have already launched at high speed — not only have several candidates declared they’re running, but one candidate launched his campaign only to withdraw just three weeks later.
GOOD Morning Wilton is keeping track of the local races and candidates, and we’ll continue to bring you updates on announcements as the season moves forward.
42nd State Representative District
The newly-created 42nd State Representative District was formed in the recent redistricting effort to include all of Wilton and parts of New Canaan and Ridgefield and will take effect as of the November 2022 state legislative elections, for the session that begins in January 2023.
Two candidates have officially declared their campaigns and registered with the State Elections Enforcement Commission to run. We haven’t heard of anyone considering a challenge for either of the two declared candidates, but if another Republican or Democrat does enter the race then it would most like involve a primary for the new district too.
Candidate: Kim Healy
Declared: Tuesday, Feb. 15
After an unsuccessful challenge to State Senator Will Haskell (D-26) in 2020, and a very definitive win running for Wilton’s Board of Selectmen in 2021, Wilton resident Kim Healy filed paperwork with the State Elections Enforcement Commission to run for the 42nd District on Monday afternoon, Feb. 14 and then announced officially the next morning. She has said that if elected she will continue to serve on the Board of Selectmen.
Candidate: Keith Denning
Declared: Monday, Mar. 7
Keith Denning last ran unsuccessfully for a seat on Wilton’s Board of Selectmen in 2021; this campaign for the state legislature’s 42nd District would be his second foray into local political elections since moving to Wilton in 2017. Before that, he was appointed as an alternate member of the Wilton Zoning Board of Appeals in 2021.
26th State Senate District
Candidate: Ceci Maher
Declared: Monday, Jan. 10
GOOD Morning Wilton was the first to break the news that Wilton resident Ceci Maher planned a run for the State Senate’s 26th District, the seat currently held by her fellow Democrat, Will Haskell. Haskell had told GMW earlier that week that he would not be seeking re-election in the 2022 election this November because he planned to attend law school. Maher has previously served on Wilton’s Board of Finance, appointed in 2018 to fill a vacan seat. She ran unsuccessfully in 2019 for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Prior to that, she served as the executive director for the non-profit Person-to-Person, and most recently she was the interim executive director of Sandy Hook Promise.
Candidate: Ken Bernhard
Declared: Monday, Jan. 18
Wilton’s former Town Attorney 1992 until 2016, Ken Bernhard announced his plans to run for the State Senate seat in the 26th District in January. He’s a Westport resident and partner in the law firm of Cohen and Wolf. Bernhard changed his affiliation to run as a Democrat but had been a Republican when he served in the CT General Assembly as a state representative from 1997-2005, representing the 136th District and serving as Assistant Minority Leader.
Prior to his time as a state representative, Bernhard was Third Selectman for the Town of Westport and was elected to the Westport Zoning Board of Appeals. He also has been the town attorney for Weston and Westport.
Candidate: Michael Gordon
Declared: Monday, Feb. 14
WITHDRAWN: Tuesday, Mar. 8
Businessman and former Westport Board of Education chair Michael Gordon was the third Democrat to enter the 26th District race until withdrawing his name from contention just three weeks later.
Under the Clinton administration, Gordon was a special assistant on education policy and later a spokesperson for Attorney General Janet Reno, before starting his own corporate communications firm. He was first elected to the Westport Board of Education in November 2011 and chaired the board four times, starting in 2014 until he stepped down in June 2018.
Gordon quit the State Senate race on Tuesday, Mar. 8: “I’ve come to realize that I can’t juggle effectively the multiple demands of family, work and this campaign/the State Senate. The simple truth is that I thought I could do all of it at a high level, but I’ve learned that I can’t. I was excited both to campaign and to serve, but I’m also clear that now is not the right time if I want to do the job well,” he wrote, adding, “I wish Ceci and Ken the best of luck, and I look forward to supporting our nominee this Fall.”
Not Yet Declared
As of now, no individual from the Republican party has stepped forward to declare a campaign for the 26th State Senate District. Wilton Republican Town Committee chair Peter Wrampe declined to comment when asked whether there was a candidate identified for the race.
U.S. House of Representatives 4th District
Candidate: Jim Himes (Incumbent)
Declared: Jan. 11, 2021
Jim Himes is currently serving his seventh term in Congress representing the 4th District. He filed his paperwork declaring his candidacy to run for re-election with the Federal Election Commission in January 2021.
Himes currently serves as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where he is Chairman of the Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research (STAR) Subcommittee and a member of the House Financial Services where he serves as the Chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy.
Before Congress, Himes worked for Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit affordable-housing organization in the New York metropolitan area; prior to that he worked for Goldman Sachs. He served in local Greenwich politics, including as the chair of the town’s Board of Finance.
Candidate: Michael T. Goldstein, MD, JD
Declared: Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022
Greenwich resident Dr. Michael T. Goldstein declared his campaign for the Republican nomination to run for Congress in CT’s 4th Congressional District in February. An ophthalmologist, Goldstein is making healthcare a key part of his platform, saying he will support deregulation; work to make “cost-effective high-quality healthcare available to all CT residents”; and protect and promote the rights of “suffering” and “overburdened” CT healthcare employees.
The press release announcing his campaign noted that “Goldstein believes the backbone of the Constitution State is its entrepreneurs and small business owners. High taxes and wasteful government spending resulting in high energy prices and inflation are hurting the Connecticut workforce and our families.” It also said that Goldstein is a “strong believer in parental rights regarding their children’s education” and supports the Second Amendment.
Goldstein’s website says he believes that “Socialist policies of the progressive Democrats will destroy the economic structure of our economy and turn us into a third world country, if we have not already become one.”
Goldstein is the current board chair of the New York County Medical Society.
Candidate: Jayme Stevenson
Declared: Sunday, Mar. 6, 2022
Darien’s former first selectwoman Jayme Stevenson announced she is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Jim Himes for CT’s 4th Congressional District. She made the announcement on “This Week in Connecticut” on WTNH-TV, telling the host, “Everywhere we look, we have chaos around us. Chaos at our borders, unsafe streets, kids that are falling further and further behind in school, exacerbated by COVID policies that really had consequences that no one could understand, and it’s time that we send leaders to Washington that are sane and serious an can rise to the moment of these great challenges for our country and for the 4th Congressional District.”
Candidate: Ethan Book
Declared: March 13, 2022
Bridgeport’s Ethan Book is running on a platform of “reaffirmation of Republican ideology.” His website lists four main policy areas: conservative policies on budgets and taxes; conservative social policies (“strong family” and pro-life); adherence to principles of a constitutional republic (limited government, capitalist system with reasonable regulations, and principles of freedom); and an “affirmation that [the U.S. is] a Judeo/Christian nation as a national heritage and identity, while tolerant of other faiths.”
Book’s website lists jobs in banking (as a loan officer in Central America, the Caribbean and New York); says he’s a self-described whistleblower and is “active in state and federal courts, in Freedom of Information processes, and the political arena… promoting judicial reform, among other issues.” He was a financial consultant on two hydroelectric projects and owns a Fairfield limo service.
An active member of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee from 2013-2018, Book has run uncessfully for U.S. Senate (2010); Bridgeport City Council (2013); and State Representative (2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020).