ELECTION 2022 — SPECIAL PRIMARY ISSUE: Meet the Candidates

With the exception of Presidential Election years, the Town of Wilton hasn’t held a primary election for statewide offices since 2014, and in that case, only registered Republican could voted that August.

But in 2022, both registered Democrats and Republicans will be able to cast votes in the primary with multiple races at stake. Whether or not you have been following any of the campaigns before now, GOOD Morning Wilton‘s Special CT Primary Issue features information you need to head to the polls next Tuesday, Aug. 9, including materials we invited primary race candidates to submit.

Candidates were given the option of providing their own bios (and if they didn’t, GMW pulled information from the candidates’ websites) as well as submitting a candidate statement or op-ed limited to 500 words. We’ve published submissions from candidates who met our deadline.

In addition, please check out the Endorsements and Letters to the Editor supporting primary candidates that GMW has published since the start of the campaign, as well as links to Election 2022 coverage thus far.

We’ve also included sample ballots for what you’ll find when you head to the polling precincts.

For specific who, what, when and where details on voting in the primary on Tuesday, Aug. 9 for any registered Wilton voters, read the GMW’s Primary Voter Guide.


Republican Primary

Sample Ballot

2022 Republican Primary Sample Ballot (Wilton Registrars of Voters)

United States Senator (Vote for One)

Themis Klarides (party-endorsed)

Themis Klarides, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator (photo: Themis2022.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from her campaign website] Themis Klarides was the first woman to be the Republican leader of the CT House of Representatives (2014-2020). She worked to pass the 2017 bipartisan budget enacting spending caps and budgetary reforms and opposed reinstituting highway tolls. During 2020’s Police Accountability Act debate, Klarides opposed legislation to remove police protections. A Seymour native and graduate of Trinity College and Quinnipiac University School of Law, Klarides currently practices law in Connecticut and the U.S. District Court for Connecticut.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Leora Levy

Leora Levy, Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senator (LeoraforCT.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from her campaign website] Cuban-born Leora Levy escaped to the U.S. in 1960. After graduating Brown University, she became a trader at Phibro Salomon in 1978. She has been the CT Republican National Committeewoman since 2016, and was Finance Chair for the gubernatorial campaigns of Tom Foley (2014) and Bob Stefanowski (2018), and for the state Republican Party (2013-2015). Over the last 40 years Levy has served on finance committees for the RNC, NRSC and NRCC; organized Republican Party events; and hosted national Republican leaders. She was nominated to be Ambassador to Chile in 2019 by President Trump. Levy and her husband, Steven, live in Greenwich and raised three sons and seven dogs.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Peter Lumaj

Peter Lumaj is running to be the Republican nominee in the 2022 race for U.S. Senator (photo: PeterLumaj.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from his campaign website] Peter Lumaj was born in Albania in 1967 when it was a Communist Eastern European regime. The first in his family allowed to attend high school, he was directed by the communist government to study agronomy. He engaged in anti-government protests and in 1989 was arrested and tortured. He escaped to America, and enrolled in the City University of New York, working as a doorman to support family and pay for school. Peter later attended Benjamin Cardozo Law School and at the same time worked as a fraud investigator in the Giuliani administration. Peter was the 2014 Republican Secretary of State nominee. Currently, Peter practices law at his own firm and resides in Fairfield with his wife Mary and their three children.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

U.S. Representative — Fourth District (Vote for One)

Jayme Stephenson (party-endorsed)

Jayme Stevenson is running to be the Republican nominee in the 2022 race for U.S. Representative, Fourth District  (photo: Jayme Stevenson for Congress)
  • Bio: [provided by candidate] Jayme Stevenson is an experienced leader. She served as Darien’s First Selectman from 2011-2021 and during her tenure was elected Chairman of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, Chairman of the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, and First Vice-President of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Jayme currently serves on the Boards for LifeBridge Community Services in Bridgeport, Stamford Emergency Medical Services, and The Rowen Center.

Jayme was born in Reading, PA and received her B.S. in Telecommunications/Business Management from Arizona State University. She began her career as a bond analyst for Standard & Poor’s and then as Vice President, Asset-Backed Finance. Jayme and her husband John, a native of Stamford/Darien, have been married 35 years, raised a family of five children and have two grandchildren.

  • Candidate Statement:  America is the greatest country on earth because of the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. However, current federal policies are having disastrous consequences for our state and nation. Connecticut has so much to offer, but our state needs new Congressional leadership with “boots on the ground” experience to address our most pressing concerns and someone who will be a strong advocate for improving our quality of life.

After a successful private sector career and ten years as Darien’s First Selectman, I’m moving forward to bring my experience to Congress. I believe in term limits as they provide opportunity for fresh ideas and motivation. We need representatives who are unafraid to do what is right rather than what will benefit them personally and politically.

As a local, state, and regional leader, I worked to create public policy, find solutions, and build consensus on issues that impact the welfare of Connecticut’s residents and businesses. This meant having common sense discussions and building partnerships that addressed infrastructure, transportation and government services working more efficiently for our cities and towns.

Right now, families are struggling to put food on the table and pay for childcare and utility bills. Reckless federal spending, dependence on foreign manufacturing, broken supply chains, labor shortages and the administration’s war on the American fossil fuel industry is responsible for increased costs of essential goods and services.

We need solutions on government spending, energy policy, infrastructure investments, public safety, and education to strengthen our economy, improve affordability to ignite innovation and entrepreneurship here in Connecticut.

Americans deserve to feel safe in their homes and communities. I will implement thoughtful public safety policy that supports our police, fire and EMS professionals while recognizing the reality of scarce resources. I will champion investments in law enforcement staff, equipment, and the training needed to keep our communities safe.

Through my professional and personal experiences, I understand the pressing issues facing children, parents, educators, and nonprofits. I am a fierce advocate for young people and the complex challenges they face. As a mother of five, I know how difficult it is being a child and a parent these days. Like many American families, mine has experienced the devastation of a loved one’s struggle with substance misuse and the grueling recovery process.

Our nation has seen the horrors brought on by neglecting mental wellness, the factors contributing to a surge in violence and the nationwide opioid and fentanyl epidemic. Congress has yet to admit the impacts of mental wellness and take meaningful action. I will be a relentless advocate for our children and families.

A more hopeful future for our country and our children rests in your hands. I respectfully ask for your support and vote on Aug. 9 and again on Nov. 8.

Michael Ted Goldstein

Michael Goldstein is running to be the Republican nominee in the 2022 race for U.S. Representative, Fourth District (photo: Goldstein for Congress)
  • Bio: [adapted from his campaign website] Michael Ted Goldstein has been a board-certified physician for over 40 years. He has served as the president of the New York County Medical Society for two terms. Goldstein has also served as the president of the SUNY Downstate Alumni Association. Later in life, he decided to become a lawyer and attended law school at Pace University at night. Goldstein moved to Greenwich in 1987 and has been a Connecticut resident for over 30 years.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

 

Secretary of the State (Vote for One)

Dominic Rapini (party-endorsed)

Dominic Rapini is running to be the Republican nominee in the 2022 race for CT Secretary of State (photo: Dominic for CT)
  • Bio: [adapted from his campaign website] Dominic Rapini grew up in Hamden and now lives in Brandford with his wife Susan, their three grown children and their adopted family. He graduated from Trinity College in 1983 and has worked for Apple, Inc.’s Consumer Electronics Division for 25 years. In 2018, Rapini ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate as a first-time candidate. For the past three years, he’s been the board chair of Fight Voter Fraud. Rapini is a member of the CT Republican Assembly, the Branford Republican Town Committee and a Grass Roots East (Second Congressional District Federal PAC) board member. In his spare time, Rapini has been a coach and leader of Hamden Pop Warner youth football and cheerleading for over 30 years.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Terrie E. Wood

Terrie Wood is running to be the Republican nominee in the 2022 race for CT Secretary of State (photo: TerrieWood.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from his campaign website] Terrie Wood has represented Darien and Rowayton in the State Legislature since 2009. Born in Cleveland, OH, Wood has lived in Connecticut for over 40 years. She started as an actor in television commercials and began a portrait photography business after her children were born. In 1990 Wood co-founded the Darien Environmental Group, chairing it for six years and was also active in several other non-profit and civic organizations, including Darien Land Trust, Darien Library, Darien Republican Town Committee, and Darien Representative Town Committee, among many others. In the State House, she served as House Republican Policy Chair for three years and Ranking member on Human Services Committee for six years.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Democratic Primary

Sample Ballot

2022 Democratic Primary Sample Ballot (Wilton Registrars of Voters)

Secretary of the State (Vote for One)

Stephanie Thomas (party-endorsed)

Stephanie Thomas is running to be the Democratic nominee in the 2022 race for CT Secretary of State (photo: VoteStephanieThomas.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from her campaign website] Stephanie Thomas is a small business owner who started her own consulting business and has spent three decades advising and working with nonprofit organizations. In 2018 she became an active volunteer with Fight Back Connecticut, served on Norwalk’s Democratic Town Committee, and was appointed to Norwalk’s Zoning Commission. In 2020, Thomas was elected as State Representative for Norwalk, Wilton, and Westport. She served as Vice Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee and was a member of the Commerce and Transportation Committees. Thomas graduated from NYU and received her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management. She and her husband live in Norwalk.
     
  • Candidate statement: Stephanie Thomas, current State Representative, is the endorsed Democrat for Secretary of the State in the Aug. 9 statewide primary. Stephanie is running because she believes civic education and civic engagement are key to protecting voting rights and reconnecting people to our government and the voting process. As a small business owner who worked her way from the ground up, Stephanie also understands the challenges of running a business and will extend a helping hand by linking owners to resources and funding where available. Stephanie believes that government should work for all of us, whether you are a business owner, voter, consumer, or those often left behind.

Stephanie Thomas is endorsed by former Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, who knows “Stephanie is a tenacious and fierce advocate for issues we all care about.”

“Connecticut voters want a Secretary of the State who will fight every day to protect their right to cast a ballot and make their voice heard. Stephanie Thomas is the woman for the job,” Merrill said. “Stephanie has a clear, deep understanding of the issues and will defend our elections and voters every day, in Connecticut and at the national level. This job is not for the faint of heart, and I am confident that Stephanie will be ready on day one.”

As Vice Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, Stephanie sponsored and helped pass a variety of voter-focused bills such as the resolutions to advance early voting and no-excuse absentee ballot voting and automatic voter registration at state agencies.

The top three priorities for Stephanie are:

1. Rolling out civic education and civic engagement tools for both young people and adults. From creating a YouTube channel to visiting and training community leaders on the process, Stephanie will work to engage community members and leaders on our voting methods and voting rights.

2. Continuing her work to implement early voting and no-excuse absentee voting to fuel civic engagement and increase ballot accessibility. Stephanie will work to ensure all of our towns are able to implement fair, safe, and accessible elections, while maintaining a trusted and transparent relationship with our Town Clerks and Registrars.

3. Utilizing the power of data to provide information to businesses across the state to help them tap into available programs, funding, and resources. Stephanie will also partner with Chambers and Economic Development groups to help our businesses thrive.

Stephanie Thomas represents the best of the American Dream. Born into poverty, she worked hard, graduated from NYU and received her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management. She has spent three decades advising and problem-solving for nonprofit organizations and currently owns her own consulting firm. Experienced in business strategy and fundraising, Stephanie understands what it takes to grow and maintain a successful enterprise and the value of integrity and transparency. Vote for Stephanie Thomas on Row A as the endorsed Democrat for Secretary of the State!

If you have questions about voting or Stephanie, please visit the Vote Stephanie Thomas website.

Maritza Bond

Maritza Bond is running to be the Democratic nominee in the 2022 race for CT Secretary of State (photo: Maritza Bond/Facebook)
  • Bio: [adapted from her campaign website] Maritza Bond currently serves as New Haven’s Director of Health. She has led the city during the COVID pandemic, managing an annual budget of approximately $20 million (additional funding pending) and was named “New Havener of the Year” in 2021 by the New Haven Independent. Before that, Bond was Bridgeport’s Director of Health and Social Services. She began her career in the Naugatuck Valley Health District, was a 2008 CT Health Foundation Leadership Fellow, and also served on several statewide public health boards and committees. Previously, Bond served as Executive Director of the Eastern Area Health Education Center. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Connecticut. Bond grew up in New Haven and now resides in Fair Haven Heights with her two sons.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Treasurer (Vote for One)

Erick Russell (party-endorsed)

Erick Russell is running to be the Democratic nominee in the 2022 race for CT Treasurer (photo: ErickforCT.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from his campaign website] Erick Russell was born and raised in New Haven, where he currently lives with his husband, Chris. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college and then law school, both in Connecticut. Since graduating, Russell has practiced as an attorney and is a partner in his firm’s Public and Private Finance Group, representing municipalities, state agencies and the state in financing infrastructure projects, managing debt and restructuring pension obligations. Much of this work has been directly through the Office of the CT Treasurer. Russell has been active in the Democratic Party on local, state and national levels for the past 10 years and volunteers as a mentor, particularly to Black and LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Dita Bhargava

Dita Bhargava is running to be the Democratic nominee in the 2022 race for CT Treasurer (photo: DitaCT22.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from her campaign website] Dita Bhargava graduated from McMaster University in Canada with a degree in Electrical Engineering. She pursued a career as a trader until changing careers in 2015 to work on civic initiatives focused on gender parity, empowering underserved communities and promoting cultural awareness and inclusion. Bhargava co-founded the Parity Partnership of Connecticut, a nonpartisan organization that educates the public about gender inequality. She’s a board member of the Urban League of Southern Connecticut and a founding board member of the India Cultural Center of Greenwich. Bhargava volunteers and supports the Clinton Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, and Inspirica Women’s Shelter, and in 2017 was elected Vice Chair of the CT State Democratic Party. She and her husband Dan, live in Cos Cob with their two children.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

Karen Dubois-Walton

Karen Dubois-Walton is running to be the Democratic nominee in the 2022 race for CT Treasurer (photo: KarenDuboisWalton.com)
  • Bio: [adapted from her campaign website] Karen DuBois-Walton first served the City of New Haven as Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Staff to the Mayor. For the past 15 years, she has led the Housing Authority in New Haven. Earlier this year, Dubois-Walton was appointed Chair of the CT State Board of Education by Gov. Ned Lamont. She has served in leadership roles on several CT non-profit boards and is a long-time member of Bethel A.M.E. Church in New Haven. A graduate of Yale University (BA) and Boston University (MA and Ph.D.), Dubois-Walton has lived in Connecticut for 37 years, now in New Haven with her husband Kevin and their two sons.
  • Candidate statement: not submitted

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