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John McKenna

Jul 26, 2023

Norman Sauer, center, is the Republican candidate for first selectman in Litchfield. Dan Morosani, left, and John Bongiorno will run for seats on the Board of Selectmen. BZ photos

There will be a race for first selectman in Litchfield in November after all.

Republicans ensured an opponent for First Selectman Denise Raap by choosing Norman Sauer, who serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission, as their candidate during the GOP caucus at Bantam Borough Hall on Tuesday. Sauer’s candidacy had been a well-kept secret in the lead up to the caucus.

Sauer, a business consultant, will be joined at the top of the Republican slate by Board of Selectmen candidates John Bongiorno and Dan Morosani. Bongiorno and Morosani out-polled Board of Education Chairman Matthew Terzian and Board of Finance members Patty Dauten and Elliot Fuessenich in scoring nominations to run for the board.

At the Democratic caucus Tuesday at the Northfield firehouse, Raap and Selectmen Jeffrey Zullo and Jodiann Tenney all earned nominations to seek new terms. Raap on Wednesday said she welcomes the competition.

“I look forward to being able to campaign and share our accomplishments of the past two years,” she said.

Sauer, in his first term on planning and zoning, has lived in town for six years and in remarks after accepting the nomination said he has decided to run for first selectmen out of a desire to preserve Litchfield’s sense of community, which he fears is being diminished by too much emphasis on commerce.

“I believe in protecting Litchfield and our beautiful way of life,” he said. “I don’t want to see that vanish through lack of planning or by blindly accepting state-mandated changes like so many of our surrounding towns that have lost their identities to unchecked growth.”

Saying he stands for thoughtful change and calculated progress, Sauer reminded the caucus that last year he helped lead a petition effort to force a town meeting vote on a proposal to ban the legalized sale of cannabis in town. More than 1,200 voters signed the petition, and the proposal was approved.

A focus on fiscal responsibility and working to attract younger people to town are other priorities, he said.

Sauer was nominated by former First Selectman Leo Paul Jr., who said Sauer’s experience in business would serve him well as first selectman.

Bongiorno is vice chairman of the broadband committee, served six years on the Board of Education, spent four years as Republican Town Committee chairman, has been president of the Litchfield Lions Club for 13 years, and is vice president of the Possum Queen Foundation.

Morosani serves on the Pension Commission, spent three years on the Board of Finance, and is a lieutenant with the Northfield Volunteer Fire Company.

Pursuing seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the GOP will be incumbent Peter Losee, Matt Eucalitto and Roland Greenwood. Seeking seats on the commission as alternates are Georgia Fuessenich and Coleby Bunnell.

Matthew Terzian and fellow incumbents Dan Clock and John Morosani were endorsed to run for new terms on the Board of Education, while Cleve Fuessenich gained the nod to run for another term on the Board of Assessment Appeals. Matt Tobin, an incumbent, and Stefan Krucker were endorsed to run for seats on the Board of Finance and Alan Landau was endorsed as the candidate for town treasurer. The current treasurer, Fran Carpentier, is stepping down after six years.

On the Democratic side, planning and zoning candidates are incumbents Carol Bramley and Steve Simonin. Rob Lupo will run for a seat on the commission as an alternate. Steve Malo will bid for a new term on the Board of Education and David Pavlick looks to return to the board.

Picked to run for seats on the Board of Finance were incumbent Samuel Olmstead and Matthew Dyer. Jennine Lupo will seek a seat as an alternate. Daniela Larson is the candidate for the Board of Assessment Appeals.

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