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Chesebrough to seek reelection as Stonington first selectwoman

Stonington — First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough, an unaffiliated voter, said Tuesday she plans to seek reelection this fall and will ask both the Democratic and Republican town committees to endorse her.

"I know it's a long shot but I'd love for them to find consensus and cross endorse me," she said, adding she hoped the committees would also endorse Democrat June Strunk and Republican Deborah Downey, the current selectwoman.

"We have different views but we have worked well as a team," she said of the town's first all-female Board of Selectmen.

Chesebrough, who previously worked for the United Nations, gained the endorsement of the Democratic Town Committee in 2019 and went on to defeat former Republican Selectman John Prue in the November election. The victory made her the first woman to be elected to run the town.

Members of the Democratic Town Committee tried to convince Chesebrough to become a member of their party but she refused. She said Tuesday that she will remain an unaffiliated voter.

"More and more I'm convinced we need to get more people involved who don't normally align with a political party," she said.

The majority of voters here are unaffiliated.

With the first selectman's term just two years long, Chesebrough said there are projects that she wants to get done, work that got slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"There's a lot to learn in this job and another term will allow me to hit the ground running," she said. 

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Tim O'Brien and Republican Chairman Shaun Mastroianni could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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