Wilton passed a significant deadline for Election 2023 on Wednesday, Aug. 9, giving a final indication for what ballots will look like on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7. It also means Wilton voters will not head to the polls for any primary .

Sara Sclafani (left) is running to fill a two-year vacancy on the BOE as an unaffiliated petition candidate. At Nova Cafe on Aug. 4, 2023, Sclafani ran into former BOE chair Deb Low — whose move to Weston last year resulted in Low’s resignation from the board, leaving the vacancy Sclafani is hoping to fill. Credit: GOOD Morning Wilton

August 9 was the last date nominating petition candidates could file paperwork with the town clerk to petition to get on the ballot. The only person to do that for the current municipal election cycle was Sara Sclafani, an unaffiliated voter who has thrown her hat into the ring to run for a two-year term on the Board of Education.

Sclafani spoke exclusively to GOOD Morning Wilton about deciding to run. She submitted her nominating petition to Town Clerk Lori Kaback on Friday, Aug. 4. Kaback said she verified the signatures on Sclafani’s petition and submitted the paperwork to the Secretary of State.

Wednesday was also the last day any person affiliated with a major political party could submit a petition to challenge an endorsed candidate on a party slate. Kaback said no affiliated opposition candidates materialized, so Wilton will have no primary elections.

Neither the Democratic Town Committee (DTC) nor the Republican Town Committee (RTC) submitted any additional endorsed candidates for any remaining open races since their respective meetings held on July 25.

As a result, Wilton voters now have an idea of how the ballots are shaping up for November. Considering state statutes that outline minority party representation, the races in Wilton will be interesting to watch.

Below, GMW lists the races and who’s running — and what impact the election could have in each of the three main municipal boards.

First Selectperson

The Republican nominee, Toni Boucher, is running unopposed, as the DTC did not nominate anyone to run for the top municipal office. The town (and its employees) now have a good idea of who will lead Wilton through the next four years (at least).

Earlier this week, CT Mirror writer Mark Pazniokas published an incisive look at two Fairfield County Republicans running unopposed for their town’s first selectperson seat, including Boucher, noting that both towns were formerly politically ‘red’ but now count higher numbers of registered Democratic voters on their voter rolls.

Board of Selectmen

The five-member BOS has two seated members not up for re-election: Kim Healy (R) and Bas Nabulsi (D). That means there are two open seats up for grabs.

The Democrats have nominated two candidates: incumbent Ross Tartell will run for a second term and Farah Massani will run for office for the first time. If they both win, that will give Democrats a majority and pose an interesting situation for a board that will have a Republican chair in Boucher.

Joshua Cole, the current second selectman, is running for re-election. As the sole Republican nominee, Cole must win to keep a Republican majority on the BOS.

Board of Finance

The BOF has three open seats. The current members who are not up for re-election include two Republicans — Matt Raimondi and BOF vice chair Stewart Koenigsberg — and Democrat Sandy Arkell.

The Republicans have nominated two candidates, the most they can run given minority representation rules. The two are Prasad Iyer, who currently chairs the appointed Economic Development Commission and Rudy Escalante.

On the Democrats’ side, three newcomers to municipal boards are slated: David Tatkow and Slava Servello, both of whom were touted as having children in the Wilton Public Schools and very engaged in the FY 2024 budget process, a factor mentioned as key for a board with so much say over annual budgets; and Tim Birch.

Depending on how this election shakes out, one of the biggest impacts could be on who will be chosen as BOF chair once the new members are seated. It will be a relatively ‘young’ board — Raimondi and Arkell are both in their first terms, Koenigsberg is the only one in his second term, and anyone elected in November will be a BOF newcomer. How politics and seat distribution work into that decision will be something to watch.

Board of Education

There are actually two races for the BOE: there are three seats open for four-year terms, and one open seat to fill a two-year term vacancy.

The current members not up for re-election are both Democrats: Nicola Davies and Pam Ely. As a result, Democrats could only put up two candidates, which they have in incumbent Ruth DeLuca — the current BOE chair — and newcomer Patrick Pearson. They are both running in the four-year term race

On the RTC side, the two current Republican BOE members are not running for re-election, so the Republicans have a larger field of candidates. Running for the three four-year term seats are Lori Bufano, who has won election to the BOS and Planning and Zoning Commission in the past; and two unaffiliated candidates running on the Republican ticket — newcomer Mark Shaner and former Wilton teacher Heather Priest. Although unaffiliated voters, Priest and Shaner would count as Republicans for any calculations of minority representation.

In the race for the two-year vacancy, the Democrats have not nominated anyone, putting all their eggs in the four-year term basket. The Republican candidate is Annie Chochos, a political newcomer who is a former Miller-Driscoll PTA parent.

This is the race where unaffiliated petition candidate Sclafani has stepped forward. Should she win, her candidacy makes things even more unpredictable depending on who gets elected for the four-year terms. Will there be four Democrats, one Republican (R or U), and Sclafani (U)? Could there be three Republicans (two Rs and one U), two Democrats, and Sclafani (U)? There are other possible combinations, with very intriguing outcomes for a board that has become increasingly political in recent years after a long, apolitical track record.

Planning and Zoning Commission

With four spots open on P&Z, the result of this race is a fait accompli: the Republicans have nominated three candidates — incumbent (and current P&Z Chair) Rick Tomasetti; incumbent (and current P&Z vice chair) Melissa-Jean Rotini (who is a registered unaffiliate running on the Republican ticket); and Anthony Cenatiempo, running for his first term on P&Z.

The DTC has nominated only one candidate: Mark Ahasic, who was just appointed to fill a vacant P&Z seat for the next few months.

Board of Assessment Appeals

Two open seats

Republican candidates: Dan Falta (incumbent)

Democratic candidates: Robert Zsunkan (incumbent), the current BAA chair

Zoning Board of Appeals

Three open seats

Republican candidates: Mohammed Ayoub and Jeff Turner

Democratic candidates: none nominated

Zoning Board of Appeals — Alternate (Full Term)

One open seat

Republican candidates: Lily Zoruba

Democratic candidates: none nominated

Zoning Board of Appeals — Alternate (Two-year Vacancy)

Republican candidates: none nominated

Democratic candidates: none nominated


Five open positions (voters vote for three)

Republican candidates: Peter Wrampe, Maggie Bittner, Angie Bertolino (I)

Democratic candidates: Bo Mitchell (incumbent), Ernie Ricco (incumbent), and Jane Rinard

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of candidate Slava Servello’s name.