Democrats to challenge State Representative John Frey
Politics starts to get interesting as Republicans and Democrats attend conventions and caucuses in May to nominate candidates who’ll battle it out in the fall election for positions ranging from governor, U.S. senator and Congress to the local state representatives and state senator.
State Rep. John Frey, who has represented Ridgefield in the state House of Representatives for 20 years, is running again — and Democrats say they’ll have a challenger to fight him for the 111th District seat, covering nearly all of Ridgefield.
“Yes, I am seeking re-election,” Frey told The Press last Friday. “I absolutely love public service and particularly enjoy representing my Ridgefield neighbors.
“Legislating is certainly an important part of the job, and we’ve had much success — including many Ridgefield-originated ideas,” Frey said. “But I also enjoy the constituent service part of the job — making government work when often there is an unnecessary roadblock. I have relationships in every agency and can, in nearly every case, get a response.”
Frey has sometimes run unopposed since he was first elected in 1998, and will have a challenger said new Democratic Town Committee chairman Alex Harris.
“Ridgefield Democrats will nominate a candidate for this Assembly seat, but the candidate has not yet announced so I am unable to share a name,” Harris told The Press.
The Democratic caucus for the 111th District is scheduled for May 24.
“While there is not yet an announced candidate for the 111th, the local grassroots desire to win that seat is very high and I expect local Democrats will pour tons of energy and enthusiasm into electing our nominee,” Harris said.
Republicans will caucus to nominate candidates for the 111th District assembly seat and for Republican registrar of voters on Tuesday, May 22, at 7:30 in town hall's large lower level meeting room.
Hope Wise, the incumbent Republican registrar and the new chair of the Republican Town Committee, spoke of the party’s nomination of Frey as a foregone conclusion.
“He’s not challenged or anything,” Wise said.
Ridgefield’s other longtime Republican voice in Hartford — state Sen. Toni Boucher — has stopped considering a run for governor, and is seeking re-election to the 26th District seat, representing Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, Westport, and parts of Weston, New Canaan and Bethel in the state Senate.
“Toni has decided to stay where she is, and I’m glad of that,” Wise said.
The convention for the Republican nomination for the 26th state Senate District is May 18 in Boucher’s hometown of Wilton.
Ridgefield Democrats will send delegates to the May 21 convention in Westport for the 26th District state Senate nomination, with Will Haskell of New Canaan the only announced candidate.
A contest is also shaping up for the 138th District seat in the state House of Representatives or General Assembly. The 138th District includes a strip of northern Ridgefield — north of George Washington Highway — along with portions of Danbury and New Fairfield.
Republican incumbent Michael Ferguson, a professor of history and politics at Post University, is seeking re-election, and Ridgefield Republicans are sending one delegate to the May 16 convention in Danbury.
Danbury Democrat Kenneth Gucker hopes to oppose Ferguson for the 138th seat, and Ridgefield Democrats will send a delegate to their party’s 138th convention May 16 in Danbury.
A delegation of Ridgefield Republicans is heading to the party’s state convention May 11 and 12 at Foxwoods. The GOP gubernatorial field — once some 15 candidates — includes such established names as Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst.
“As a town committee we endorsed Mark Boughton for governor,” Wise said.
“We are going to just see what happens at convention. There’s a lot of stuff going on — you never know,” she said. “This is where you do the weeding-out process. We’ll really cull the herd up there.
“Ridgefield holds eight delegates, and we have one super delegate — that is John Frey,” Wise said.
“I haven’t made any endorsements in the state races, although we have many exceptional candidates,” Frey said. “Perhaps too many, but the field will narrow shortly with the upcoming conventions.”
Democrats will be sending delegates to their state convention in Hartford on May 18 and 19, expecting to nominate U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy to run for a second term. Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy is not seeking re-election and the field seeking to replace him includes former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and Ned Lamont, a businessman and former Greenwich selectman who was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2006 and a candidate for governor in 2010.
For the 4th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Jim Himes is seeking a sixth term, and Harry Arora of Greenwich, an investment analyst and portfolio manager, is the lone Republican seeking the GOP nomination.
“Democrats are very enthusiastic for this election cycle,” said Harris. “Sen. Murphy and Congressman Himes are huge favorites among Democrats locally (and statewide) for re-election.”