Selectman Bob Hebert has won the unanimous endorsement of Ridgefield’s Republican Town Committee to be the party’s candidate for the 111th District seat in the state House of Representatives.

The seat was held for 22 years by Republican state Rep. John Frey, who earlier this year announced that he would not seek re-election.

“I decided to run for state representative because I want to take on the big issues that are most important to all the people of Ridgefield,” Hebert said. “We need to make changes for the better, not just for the sake of change. Anyone can change things, but change to our wonderful town, state and country must be well thought out, analyzed, and debated. Change for the better is never easy, but it’s always worth it.

“I am ready to provide a type of leadership in Hartford that will bring practical solutions to the serious challenges that our state and town face, particularly in these difficult times,” he added.

Hebert won the backing of the Republican Town Committee (RTC) during its monthly meeting, held by Zoom last Thursday, May 21.

Under Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders relating to the COVID-19 shutdown, town committees can make endorsements that have traditionally been made by caucuses.

Constituent service

“Bob has been a pillar of integrity and a constant illustration of nonpartisan representation in our town,” said Republican Town Committee Chairman Mike Raduazzo. “Beyond his legislative experience, Bob enjoys and is especially good at performing constituent services (advocating for the needs of our townspeople), which is an important role of a selectman and an even significantly more demanding part of the state representative’s job.”

RTC member Marshall Odeen, a longtime friend of Hebert, made the motion for endorsement.

“As a selectman for the past five years, Bob has demonstrated an impeccable work ethic and has fostered working relationships with others built on mutual respect. He eagerly represents the interests of all Ridgefielders,” said Odeen.

New RTC member Catherine Neligan seconded the motion. “Bob’s analytical mind, coupled with his financial common sense, is precisely what is required in Hartford right now,” she said. “His expertise is a perfect fit for the position.”

Bob Hebert has lived in Ridgefield for 39 years and is currently serving his second four-year term as a member of the Board of Selectmen. Before his election to the board in 2015, he served as chairman of the Ridgefield Housing Authority.

Banking experience

Hebert has over 40 years of experience in finance, banking, and commercial real estate investments. He is currently the managing partner/owner of Hebert Partners, a commercial real estate investment and advisory firm which manages its own portfolio and handles investments for partners.

During his career, Hebert has taken on challenges that include turning around two troubled banks.

He is the founder and organizer of The Bank of New Canaan, beginning with development of a business model. Under his leadership, Hebert’s team obtained all regulatory approvals, designed innovative bank products and services, implemented operating systems, and opened the new bank in 2001.

Prior to organizing The Bank of New Canaan, Hebert held various senior officer positions, including executive vice president and chief lending officer of New Canaan Bank & Trust, and president and CEO of a division of The Bank of Mystic. He was also vice president and head of national sales for Merrill Lynch and Kidder-Peabody.

Hebert is a former director of Junior Achievement and has been a board member of several other nonprofit organizations. He is an active member of St. Mary’s Church, where he served on the Parish Advisory Council and co-founded the Life Teen Youth Group. He also served as treasurer for local and congressional candidates.

Bronze stars

While serving in the U.S. Army 1st Air Cavalry Division, Hebert was awarded two Bronze Stars. His son Brian, the oldest of three children raised in Ridgefield, followed in his father’s military footsteps and has flown the A-10 Warthog attack aircraft for the country. For many years now, Brian Hebert has flown the C-130 military transport plane in the annual flyover tribute during the Ridgefield Memorial Day Parade.

“The RTC members are excited to announce our wholehearted and very enthusiastic endorsement of Bob for state representative representing Ridgefield,” Raduazzo said. “The team is galvanized and inspired by his candidacy.

“On a personal note,” Raduazzo added, “I’m thrilled to be able to support Bob’s candidacy and return the honor of serving as Ridgefield’s RTC chairman just as Bob served as chairman for me when I ran for the Board of Education in 2011. It’s been a fantastic karmic circle.”

The RTC said Hebert had successfully completed his fundraising campaign and qualified for the Connecticut Citizens Election Program. Under this program, designed to limit the influence of special interest money in politics, candidates for state representative can qualify for public financing of their campaigns by raising $5,000 from a minimum of 300 individual residents of the district they’re running in.

“I’m both grateful and humbled by the overwhelming community support,” Hebert said.