Greenwich First Selectman Peter J. Tesei has decided not to seek re-election on Nov. 5, setting up an open race for the town's top government job. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern
Fred Camillo Photo Credit: Provided
Jill Oberlander Photo Credit: Twitter

Democrats Eye Majority Of Greenwich Board Of Selectmen For First Time In 16 years

Peter Tesei's departure as First Selectman in Greenwich after 31 years of government service leaves his top job open for the first time since 2007.

Tesei, who is completing a record sixth two-year term as First Selectman, announced he would not seek re-election. "It's time to finish this journey and begin a new one,'' Tesei said in February.

Greenwich, a longtime Republican stronghold, is the boyhood home of the late President George H.W. Bush and longtime home of Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont. 

Seeking Greenwich's top government job are Republican Fred Camillo and Democrat Jill Oberlander. Oberlander is part of a so-called blue wave seeking to take majority control of the town Board of Selectmen for the first time since 2003.

Oberlander is teaming up with Tesei's last challenger, fellow Democratic Selectman Sandy Litvack, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 5. In July, Republican Michael Mason dropped out of the First Selectman race to seek re-election to the Board of Estimate and Taxation. (BET)

Oberlander, who chairs the town BET, has pledged to focus on what she called the “Three E’s:” economic development, education and the environment.

For the past 11 years, Camillo has represented the 151 District as a state representative. He grew up in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich and now lives in Old Greenwich. 

"I love my job as a state representative, but I love my hometown more,'' Camillo said in a recent campaign letter. "That is why I am coming home to run for first selectman."

"Greenwich has been the best-run municipality in Connecticut for close to 90 years. Is it perfect? No. No town is, but that is why I am running," Camillo wrote.

Camillo said he will look at all town-owned assets to ensure their best usage: "If a property is underutilized, dormant or improperly used, that asset will be addressed, updated, and in some cases, repurposed."

"Athletic facilities, many of which I have been involved with in various capacities over the past five decades, will be another area that will get laser like focus. Having played, coached, and umpired on our fields, I know we can AND must do better,' Camillo said.

He also promised to maintain his weekly email blasts to constituents if elected to the local job. In the Connecticut House of Representatives, Camillo serves as Assistant Republican Leader.

Last spring, Litvack entered a Selectman race that includes Republicans Granit Balidemaj, a business development manager for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits; Joe Kelly, Greenwich High School rugby coach and CEO of Uranium Markets; and Dan Quigley, an RTM member from District 1. Republican Selectman John Toner decided not to seek re-election on Nov. 5.

As an 18-year-old in 1987, Tesei became the youngest person elected to the Representative Town Meeting. After a decade of service on the legislative body, he was elected to the town's finance board and served as its chairman.