Norwich Democratic City Council candidates form new PAC

Norwich – A new political action committee has been formed to support what organizers say will be a united slate of six Democratic candidates for City Council this fall.

The candidates will try to wrest control of the council back from the Republicans who hold a 5-2 majority.

“A Clean Slate for Norwich,” which was formed in late June, had raised $1,000 by the end of the month, according to campaign finance documents filed with the state Elections Enforcement Commission. PAC Treasurer JoAnn Merolla-Martin said the total is about $3,000 to date, with solicitations from “friends and family.” 

The PAC will hold fundraisers as well as seek individual donations to gear up for campaign season, organizers said.

The PAC listed announced Democratic council candidates Samuel Browning, Zato Kadambaya, Robert Phoenix, Stephanie Burnham and Kevin Saythany on its state filing. Browning donated $500 to the PAC. Council candidate Joe DeLucia, one of the founders and early donors, will be added to the list.

DeLucia, who contributed $250 to the PAC, said the idea for the PAC and for a united slate of candidates grew out of discussions among some of the candidates and Democratic Town Committee Chairman Larry Goldman and Treasurer Susan Goldman.

“We all have different experiences, and we all have the same mindset for what was going on,” DeLucia said. “Larry and Susan suggested we all run for City Council. We all have a unified vision for what we want to happen in Norwich.”

The candidates plan to print joint campaign fliers and materials. Some might campaign together as they knock on doors or attend events, but they also plan to campaign on their own. The materials they hand out, however, will list the full slate of six candidates, DeLucia said.

“We all thought the best way to get our message across and to raise money was to form a PAC,” DeLucia said. “We will have joint campaign material. People have said they want to do a fundraiser for 'you guys,' so the idea is catching on.”

Goldman, who donated the initial $250 to launch the PAC, said the arrangement will give the council candidates more flexibility in campaign material and will avoid the uneven nature of individual campaign committees and candidates who choose to run without raising money.

The town committee also will start fundraising next month for the fall election, and will support the Democratic council and Board of Education candidates.

c.bessette@theday.com

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