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New London Republicans field slate of 14 candidates

New London — City Republicans have candidates for all 14 seats in the upcoming elections for City Council and Board of Education.

It's a mix of familiar faces and newcomers that accepted nominations during a Republican Town Committee meeting on Tuesday at the Senior Center.

Among the City Council candidates is Electric Boat employee Aaron Ide, 34, who is married and moved to the city about 11 years ago and said he believes New London "has been treading water" over the past several years.

"I think part of it is we have one party focused on national issues rather than working to make life better here," Ide said.

He said he is a "pragmatist by nature, engineer by trade" who sees some of the moves by the current City Council as "anti-police," and thinks residents are looking for a "change in the narrative."

Rashad Umrani, 45, a father of four and longtime New London resident, also is running for council. He said as a Black man he is "running to represent the future of the Republicans here in New London."

"Maybe it's time for someone from my ethnic background to show his face not in the favored party," Umrani said.

He said his focus is economic responsibility for city government and he would like to see some cuts in government spending to allow taxes to be lowered and allow "people to put some money in their pocket."

Ide and Umrani will be joined on the slate of City Council candidates by: Michael Fred Hudson, Kysim Thompson, Nancy Cole, John Russell and K. Robert Lewis.

Russell, a former council member, spearheaded the petition drive that led to an Aug. 10 referendum that will ask residents to rescind the City Council's repeal of a police staffing ordinance.

Republican Town Committee Chairwoman Kat Goulart said many of the candidates are public safety-minded individuals "consistent with what the community wants."

Candidates for Board of Education are: Daniel Docker, Susan Tierney, Marilyn Deshields, Karen Paul, Webster Scott, Lydia Larrea and Scott Ennis. Rob Pero, a school board member and the only Republican to win office in the last election, is not running again. Tierney is a former school board member edged out during the last election.

Not all of the candidates are expected to remain on the ballot. Goulart said there are so-called placeholders, people who agreed to hold open a slot on a slate while they think about running or wait for another candidate to come forward.

"In this political climate, it can be difficult to find folks that want to jump into that fray," Goulart said.

She said the party has until September to find permanent candidates, if needed.

The Democratic Town Committee meets on July 27.

g.smith@theday.com

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