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Sunday, September 15 Local

Stamford Republicans pick nominees for November election

STAMFORD — The slate of Republican candidates for both the Board of Finance and Board of Education elections is now set, after a weekend meeting of the city’s Republican committee.

The four candidates who will compete for four open seats on the school board are incumbent Nicola Tarzia, as well as challengers Eva A. Maldonado, Rebecca Hamman, and Margaret Feeney.

On the Board of Finance, two Democrat incumbents are running for reelection and will be joined by another Democrat challenger. They will be challenged by Republican candidates Fritz Blau, Andrew Krill and Chris Woodside.

Blau, the head of the Republican Town Committee, said he was impressed with the slew of Republican candidates running for both boards.

“I think it’s an excellent cast,” he said. “They’re all dedicated education advocates or people who are real fiscal hawks.”

Maldonado, 59, a former chair of the city’s Republican Town Committee and a former Stamford Police officer for 31 years, will be running for the Board of Education seat left vacant after Democrat Betsy Allyn’s resignation. Maldonado has previously run for seats on the state Legislature as well as the Stamford Board of Representatives.

She will face off against Democrat Jack Bryant, former head of the Stamford chapter of the NAACP.

The winner will finish out the remaining year of Allyn’s term.

The winners of the remaining three open school board seats will each serve full three-year terms.

Hamman, 58, a professional educator and trained clinical pastoral education chaplain, has been a teacher, administrator and college/career coordinator in Connecticut and New York for over 24 years. She has resided in Stamford for 30 years.

Feeney, 37, said she is the head of innovation in the United States for a local investment bank. She would not name her employer, because she said she was not allowed to use them as part of her campaign. Many online sources, including her LinkedIn page, list her as working at NatWest Markets. The Shippan resident serves on the advisory board of Rutgers University’s Big Data Program, is a board member of Stamford Innovation Week and chair of the board for Innovate Stamford.

Hamman, Feeney and Tarzia will go up against Democratic incumbent Jennienne Burke, as well as newcomers Daniel Dauplaise, an attorney, and Fritz Chery, founder of the Grace Daycare and Learning Center on Washington Boulevard.

Democratic incumbent Antoine Savage in not seeking reelection.

Democrats have controlled the board since the mid-1990s and currently hold six of the nine seats. Under the minority representation rule, no more than six of the nine members of the board can belong to the same party. That means that Republicans could conceivably win all four open seats, while the Democrats can only win a maximum of three open positions.

All the Republican candidates will face an uphill battle in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two to one. Numbers from the city show that, as of Tuesday, 28,941 voters are registered as Democrats and 13,547 as Republicans. The number of those who registered as unaffiliated or independent totals 26,642.

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On the Board of Finance, incumbents Mary Lou Rinaldi and David Kooris are running for their seats again, while Democrat Dudley Williams is not seeking reelection.

Democrat Geoff Alswanger, who recently finished a seven-year stint on the Board of Education, will enter the fray.

The three will be challenged by Blau, Krill and Woodside.

Blau has previously run for seats on the state Legislature.

Woodside, 25, is a lifelong Stamford resident and a current teacher at Trinity Catholic High School. He was previously a candidate for the 18th District of the Board of Representatives in 2017.

Krill was reached for comment through email, but did not immediately respond.

Anthony Spadaccini, a Republican, will run for reelection for his seat on the Stamford Board of Representatives. He has temporarily filled the seat held by longtime member Gabe DeLuca, who died last year.

Democrat Jeffrey Curtis Sr. will challenge Spadaccini in the Nov. 5 election.

ignacio.laguarda@stamfordadvocate.com

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