DTC endorses candidates for November
The search is now on for a Democratic candidate to run against Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, the Republican incumbent.
At the Democratic Party caucus on Tuesday, held at Town Hall, Democratic Town Committee Chairman David Bayne was placed as a temporary first selectman candidate.
“The DTC is not prepared to put anyone forward at this time for first selectman,” Bayne told The Darien Times. “As DTC chair, it is most appropriate that I stand in that capacity solely to hold the spot open while we continue our search.”
While the DTC has been “talking to people” in regard to the position, Bayne said, “we don’t have a candidate at this point.”
The deadline for placeholder candidates is mid-October, according to Bayne. However, he said the DTC members will make their decision before then.
“The DTC’s intention is not to cause the town any additional money with a placeholder candidate on the ballot. We do not want to force the town to print additional or unnecessary ballots,” he said. “We will make the decision by whatever the deadline is for the ballots, and I believe that’s early September.”
At the caucus, Chris Noe was nominated from the floor by former first selectman candidate Rob Werner but was not endorsed. If he chooses to run, it will be the sixth time he seeks the office of first selectman.
The DTC now controls the nomination and anyone interested in running for the position of first selectman should contact them.
While Bayne wasn’t in attendance at the caucus, DTC vice chairman Frank Adelman was chairman in Bayne’s absence.
About 40 people were at the caucus, according to Adelman.
In addition to Bayne as temporary placeholder, the four candidates who were endorsed are as follows:
Board of Education Chairman: Tara Ochman
Board of Finance: Dan Bumgardner
Board of Selectmen: Sarah Neumann and David Martin
Planning & Zoning: George Reilly
Martin and Neumann replace current Democratic Selectmen Pamela Sparks and Marc Thorne on the ballot. Reilly previously served on the Board of Education for 12 years.
Neumann is currently a member of the Representative Town Meeting from District 4, has lived in Darien for the last 15 years and earned her bachelor's degree in sociology. Neumann’s volunteer activities include serving as co-chair of the Hindley and Darien High School PTOs, the president of the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, Inc. and co-chair of St Luke’s Newcomers' committee.
Martin has been a Darien resident for 20 years. He is a member of the Representative Town Meeting and has served on the Finance and Budget Committee for the past three years. As an F&B member he has participated in detailed reviews of both the town and school budgets building a strong knowledge of both.
Bumgardner will seek a place on the Board of Finance. He is a recent retiree from a more than 35 year career in the banking industry. Having lived in Darien since 1999, he has been an active member of the community, serving as a youth coach as well as a volunteer for the Darien Community Fund.
Bayne said Thorne and Sparkman have “done a great job in representing Darien Democrats and representing the town of Darien. We are very proud of them and thankful for their service.”
Adelman told The Darien Times that the DTC wants to have “strong candidates” for the position of first selectman, and those “who are going to be strong public servants.”
He thanked all of the volunteers for serving. “I’m grateful for their commitment, their work, and their time to support the party and the town,” Adelman said.
Bayne praised all the candidates.
“The Darien Democrats have put up extremely well-qualified candidates for town office,” he said. “We think they will do a great job. They are the future leaders of the Democratic Party in Darien.”
Bayne continued, “We very excited about them. If you look at their resumes and background, they are very professional people who are ready to hit the ground running the moment the election happens and they get sworn in.”
The Darien Democrats also introduced a new website this week at dariendemocrats.com.