Darien first selectman announces lieutenant governor run

DARIEN — Jayme Stevenson says it’s time for a change.

Darien’s first selectman announced Tuesday she is running for lieutenant governor.

“Change begins by stepping in the arena,” Stevenson tweeted with a photo of herself filing the paperwork Tuesday morning. “Time for a new leadership team to restore confidence, stability and hope for a brighter future.”

According to the paperwork, Stevenson filed with the Republican Party under the committee name “Stevenson4CT.” Her treasurer is Michele Berardo, a Fairfield resident.

Stevenson’s potential running mate remains uncertain.

“I think Jayme is a tremendous candidate (in) her own right,” state GOP chairman J.R. Romano said. “She’s going to have to make that determination.”

Stevenson was elected in November to her fourth two-year term as Darien’s chief elected official. During her most recent campaign, Stevenson said she was concerned about the state budget and was looking to build relationships on the regional and state level.

Stevenson ran for first selectman as a Republican, though was critical of President Donald Trump prior to him becoming the GOP candidate in the 2016 presidential election. She has previously described herself as fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

“He’s talking more like a dictator or a king,” Stevenson said before Connecticut’s presidential primary. “I don’t know that our system will be able to tolerate somebody who does business like that.”

But after the presidential race, Stevenson said she voted for Trump based on his Republican ideals and policies.

“I didn’t vote for the person, I voted more for the policies ... growing jobs and helping the middle class of America,” Stevenson said in November 2016. “I believe in capitalism and I really don’t want my children to live their lives in a socialist society.”

“Both candidates had really significant character flaws, so my vote was not at all a vote for some of the terrible things Trump said by any means — it’s more fundamental Republican ideals of smaller government. You’ll see a significant portion of Republicans voted for him.”

Stevenson also attended Trump’s inauguration.

Stevenson moved to Darien in 1991 with her husband, John. She previously worked as a New York City bond analyst at Standard and Poor’s and graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication where she studied communication management.

The election for lieutenant governor will be held in November.

Includes prior reporting by Justin Papp and Neil Vigdor.