We learned recently that John Frey will not run for the 111th District state representative seat representing Ridgefield.

While disappointing news, it allows us an opportunity to reflect on his significant contributions, and express our sincere gratitude for his many loyal years of service. At the same time, we look forward with great enthusiasm to the next chapter in our representation at the state capitol.

John has had a tremendous impact as an advocate for Ridgefield. His 22-year tenure in the General Assembly included an appointment as the Senior Republican Whip and stellar service on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, the Bank Committee, the Legislative Management Committee, and the Aging Commission.

John’s legacy includes significant accomplishments, including the widening of Route 7 from two to four lanes, and the procuring of state monies to complete the purchase of Bennett’s Pond’s 460 acres of open space. After the Sandy Hook tragedy, he secured the votes needed to allow Local Capital Improvement Project funds to be used for safety and security school construction projects.

John’s commitment to aiding his constituents has been admirable. Beyond legislation duties, John has always been available to residents, answering difficult questions, helping with challenges, or allaying concerns. Ridgefielders know him as receptive, respectful, and willing to help, regardless of political affiliation.

We ardently thank John for his many years of service to Ridgefield. While he will be missed as our representative, we are confident his impeccable citizenship, valuable voice, and steadfast nature will grace our town for years to come.

Bob Hebert

Last week, Bob Hebert announced his candidacy for state representative. Bob is currently in his second term on the Board of Selectmen, and before 2015, he was chairman of the Ridgefield Housing Authority. Bob brings with him experience in finance, banking, and commercial real estate through his current role as the managing partner/owner of Hebert Partners and as the founder/organizer of The Bank of New Canaan. Bob has impressive credentials in both business and government that will allow him to take on tough issues challenging our state and tackle them with common-sense solutions.

Bob’s volunteer activities illustrate his care for our community. He’s a leader in St. Mary’s Church, and a former director of Junior Achievement. He’s been treasurer for local and congressional candidates and board member for several other nonprofit organizations. Frequently, you’ll see Bob at town events or rolling up his sleeves to do the tangible work of serving Ridgefield.

As a two-time Bronze Star recipient, while in the U.S. Army 1st Air Cavalry, it’s not surprising to see him gloved and masked on Ridgefield streets, delivering masks to local organizations during the current health crisis. After all, it’s the everyday tasks and routine participation that tell us most about a candidate.

Bob’s mindset is welcome in the current political environment. He values common-sense solutions and rejects confining and dogged ideology that too often impedes compromise. His role as a selectmen currently encompasses the daily call to constituent service, a significant part of the job of state representative.

As the torch passes, we look to John Frey with gratitude for his selfless service of 22 years. We simultaneously look forward with great enthusiasm to our May caucus when we’ll endorse a new candidate, from those who come forward, to continue the impressive achievements of the dignified 111th seat.