CT WFP Endorses 58 Candidates for 2017 Municipal Elections

The Connecticut Working Families Party has endorsed 58 candidates who will appear on the Working Families Party ballot line in 2017 municipal elections in 11 towns/cities across the state.

Endorsements have been issued in the following cities/towns and offices:


First Selectman: Matthew Knickerbocker

Planning and Zoning Commission: Thomas Borysiewicz and Silvano Senzamici
Planning and Zoning Commission (Alternate): Penny Kessler

Zoning Board of Appeals: Rebecca Hussey

Zoning Board of Appeals (Alternate): Cynthia McGuire

Inland Wetlands Commission: Laura Collins

Board of Education: Jenn Larsen, Lawrence Bocchiere III, Rick Magee, and Jen Ackerman

Board of Finance: Wendy Smith
Town Clerk: Lisa Bergh

Town Treasurer: Patricia Smithwick


City Council: Wanda Simmons (District 139)

Board of Education (all At-large): Howard Gardner, Shavonne Davis, and Joseph Sokolovic

Board of Selectmen: Irene Schein

City Council: Paul Sutherland (Ward 1), Dennis Perkins (Ward 1), Paul Rotello (Ward 6)
Town Clerk: Joan Bielizna (At-large)

Representative Town Meeting: Jennifer Hochberg-Toller (District 4),
Board of Education (both At-large): Jennifer Leeper and Jennifer Jacobsen

Board of Education: Shontá Browdy, WFP (At-Large)

New Britain
Mayor: Merrill Gay
Common Council: Bobby Berriault (Ward 4), Eva Magnuszewski (At-large), Richard Reyes (At-large), Yvonne Muniz (At-large), and Emmanuel Sanchez (At-large)

New Haven
Mayor: Sarah Ganong, WFP

New London
Board of Education: Alisha Blake, WFP (At-large)

Mayor: Harry Rilling

Common Council: Chris Yerinides (District A), Eloisa Melendez (District A), Hector Correa (District B), Manny Langella (District B), John Kydes (District C), George Tsiranides (District D), William Pappa (District D), John Igneri (District E), Thomas Livingston (District E), Barbara Smyth (At-large), Greg Burnett (At-large), Nicholas Sacchinelli (At-large), Douglas Stern (At-large), and Sharon Stewart (At-large)

Board of Education (all At-large): Heidi Keyes, Barbara Meyer-Mitchell, Sarah LeMieux, and Shirley Mosby, WFP

Mayor: Victor Funderburk
Town Council: Rose Reyes (Willimantic Voting District), Dennis O’Brien (Willimantic Voting District), Dawn Niles (Windham Voting District)

The Connecticut Working Families Party fights for investment in public education and infrastructure, against privatization, and for policies that lift up workers, women, immigrant communities, and people of color. CTWFP understands that creating a stronger economy and more just future means greater public investment, fair taxation, and the empowerment of local communities. All endorsed candidates are carefully vetted and interviewed on these priorities before a board vote.

Carlos Moreno, Interim State Director, CT Working Families Party: “Working Families is proud to endorse so many hard-working progressive fighters from all over the state. These candidates are a testament to the power and potential of local politics, as well as to the great diversity of our state. More than ever, we need our towns and cities to fight for union rights, living wages, and immigrant justice. We need municipalities across the state to defend their communities from privatization and corporatization schemes, to fight for funding from a state government far too concerned with protecting the ultra rich from accountability, and to truly invest in local infrastructure and people. At every level of government, we will work to create an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy, privileged, and well-connected.”

Candidates seeking WFP’s endorsement pledge to support WFP’s 2017 municipal policy platform, including:

  • Defending the fundamental right to organize and collectively bargain
  • Sponsoring and strengthening living wage policies
  • Ensuring that economic development means hiring locally and supporting well-paying union jobs
  • Opposing the creation of local or state charter schools at the expense of neighborhood schools
  • Advocating for increasing the state’s share of Education Cost Sharing funding to each school district, rather than allowing state proposals to pit cities and town against each other for resources
  • Supporting inclusionary zoning legislation for affordable housing
  • Fostering trust between law enforcement and local communities by making police department more representative of and accountable to the communities they serve
  • Protecting immigrant neighbors and implementing policies or resolutions to provide sanctuary to undocumented communities
  • Holding corporations accountable to the public’s interest and development

All candidates are carefully vetted to ensure that they reflect the views, values and policy positions of Working Families’ members. Recent polling affirmed Working Families’ members vote for candidates who fight for economic justice, tax fairness, living wages, and workers’ rights. They also want affordable healthcare, strong public education, and immigration reform.

In the last election, the Connecticut Working Families Party garnered its strongest showing to date, having received over 5% of the vote on its line for U.S. Senate. Approximately 87,948 votes were cast for Richard Blumenthal on the Working Families Party ballot line.