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Ledyard candidate slates named for November ballot

Ledyard — A total of 23 candidates will be vying for political office this fall after the Democratic and Republican town committees on Monday night nominated their slates for Town Council and Board of Education.

The GOP Town Council lineup includes five incumbents, led by Chairwoman Linda Davis, who's seeking her ninth term on the panel. Joining her is fellow Councilor Kevin Dombrowski, who is looking for a seventh straight term; John Marshall, who's been on the council since 2009, and Andra Ingalls, who's seeking a third term.

Looking to be on the council for his first full term is Gales Ferry resident Tim Ryan, who was appointed to the council in May to complete the term of Tom Malone, who resigned. The lone newcomer on the GOP Town Council slate is Gary Paul, 47, who serves on the Economic Development and Conservation Commission, where he helps run the Hike Ledyard program.

Five Democrats are seeking seats on the council, including 11-term incumbent Mary McGrattan, who also served two terms as mayor and five terms as state representative in the 42nd District. "I enjoy being part of town government, " she said in a news release. "I plan to continue the spirit of cooperation that has been the hallmark of the last few years on the town council."

Fellow Democratic incumbent William Saums is hoping to continue his tenure on the council, where he's served since 2008. He is chairman of the council's Finance Committee. Joining Saums on the Democratic slate is Hilary Evans, the current vice-chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee.

Evans may be running as an incumbent, as she's been nominated by the Democrats to serve out the remaining few months of Anthony Sabilia Jr.'s term. Sabilia stepped down in June because he moved out of town for business reasons. The Town Council is expected to act on Evans' nomination Wednesday evening.

Two newcomers to the Town Council slate on the Democratic side include school paraprofessional Nicole Cruz-Glacken, who was the first person to be nominated to replace Sabilia. The Town Council rejected her nomination and said she needed more experience in town government. Cruz-Glacken has been critical of some town councilors, and claimed they need to be more sensitive to racial and ethnic issues in town.

Current school board member Naomi Rodriguez also is seeking her first term on the council.

"I was really impressed with all the candidates," DTC member Jessica Cobb said during Monday night's committee meeting. "Thank you to all the candidates who stepped forward to volunteer your time and put yourselves on the line."

The Republican slate for the Board of Education includes six incumbents. Chairman Anthony Favry, along with Mike Brawner, Brandon Graber, Whit Irwin and Steve Munger, are seeking reelection, as is Laurel Wiers, who was appointed to the panel in June.

Democratic school board hopefuls include incumbents Kate DiPalma-Herb and Joanne Kelley. Carmen Garcia-Irizarry, Mary Harris, Nakai Northup and Alex Rode are seeking their first terms on the board.

The Democratic Town Committee unanimously approved their candidates while registered Republicans also unanimously voted for their slate of candidates.  

"Eleven of our twelve candidates for Town Council and Board of Education are incumbents," Ledyard Republican Town Committee Chairman John Rodolico noted in a phone interview after the GOP meeting. "Some of them have a significant amount of experience and have served the town very well. They're very dedicated."

"Our candidates are talented, experienced, and dedicated to Ledyard," Democratic Town Committee Chairman Marty Wood said in an emailed statement. "They bring a diverse range of perspectives and voices to the table."

Republicans hold 6-3 majorities on both the Town Council and Board of Education.

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