Challengers emerge for town council and board of education

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Jul. 29, 2011
Republican Board of Educations candidates are Anita Morrison, Tom Rup, Valerie Scheer and Stephanie Watkins, who were nominated July 21 .
Republican Board of Educations candidates are Anita Morrison, Tom Rup, Valerie Scheer and Stephanie Watkins, who were nominated July 21 .

After failure to receive the nomination from their town committees, several candidates have emerged as challengers to both Republican and Democratic incumbents for local fall elections.

Republican town committee members endorsed a slate of candidates for town council that includes incumbents Eric Thompson, town council minority leader, and Pat Harmon, as well as Hector Reveron, Eileen Powers, Robert Damasch,i Sr. and Lou Ramos. Town council member Susan Skowronek was not renominated to the council. She is considering a primary challenge.

The town committee also endorsed Anita Morrison, Tom Rup, Valerie Scheer and Stephanie Watkins for the Board of Education. Challenger Victoria Gaudette Brinius did not receive a nomination.

Brinius said she will seek a primary challenge and is collecting  the required signatures in order to run. “Just because I was not nominated does not mean I don't have good ideas to share with the people of East Hartford,''  Brinius said.

Brinius, 29, is a 2000 graduate of East Hartford High, and chair of the town Commission on Services for Persons with Disabilities. “I know about 'No Child Left Behind,' and my circumstances give me insight that the other candidates don't have,'' said Brinius, who is disabled. Brinius said she is collecting the 137 signatures she needs by Aug. 10 to qualify as a primary challenger.

Board of Education chair Mary Alice Dwyer Hughes decided not seek another term on the board, and sought Democratic nomination for mayor.  Mayor Marcia Leclerc won the nomination. Dwyer Hughes said she is collecting the required 645 signatures in order to force a primary.

Santo Alleano, a retired firefighter who sought the nomination for mayor, is also planning a primary challenge. “I have over 400 signatures already,'' said Alleano, who has decided to run as an independent. “I am continuing on because I want to be mayor,'' he said. “I'm going all the way.''

The primary will be held September 13.


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