First Selectman Mike Tetreau announces his re-election campaign with Nancy Lefkowitz, a Representative Town Meeting member and gun-safety advocate. Photo Credit: Provided/ Fairfield Democratic Town Party
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport Photo Credit: CT House Dems
Chris Setaro stands near a print of downtown Danbury's Main Street businesses in the conference room of Setaro Law Firm. Photo Credit: Carolyn Mueller

Politics Around The Towns: Fairfield Campaigns Begin, Pro-Choice Bill Passes, Danbury Budget

While kicking off his campaign for a third term, Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau was joined by Nancy Lefkowitz, a gun-safety advocate who is seeking to become a Selectman.

Fairfield Democratic Town Committee Chairman Steve Sheinberg introduced them to more than 100 supporters on May 8 at Osborn Hill School.

“I’m proud of my record over the past eight years, very proud,” Tetreau said. 

Lefkowitz, a Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member, said her ability to connect with constituents, listen to all points of view and reach across party lines helped get her elected to Fairfield’s RTM District One in 2017. She promised to bring those skills to the Board of Selectmen while helping Tetreau execute his vision for the future of Fairfield. "Residents I speak with are generally happy living here -- and we want to keep it that way," Lefkowitz said. 

Lefkowitz is a founding member of TIME’S UP New York, a co-founder of The March for Change, board member at CT Against Gun Violence and on the Advisory Council of The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "Getting off the sidelines and into the political arena has given me a chance to solve problems and to help people," she said.

Lefkowitz was initially inspired to activism by the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Lefkowitz brought her gun-safety advocacy to Fairfield's RTM where she chairs the Public Health and Safety Committee. Recently, she successfully co-sponsored an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms in Fairfield. Passing with unanimous, bipartisan support, it was the first-ever law in Fairfield code to address the issue of guns.

Professionally, Lefkowitz works as a senior vice president for Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Enterprises.  She holds a bachelor's degree in history from Connecticut College where she recently was awarded one of their highest alumni prizes for her work as an activist.

Tetreau's 24-year record of service to the town includes previous roles on Fairfield’s Board of Finance, RTM, Town Plan & Zoning Commission, and the Financial Planning Advisory Committee. 

House Closes Anti-Abortion Loophole

The Connecticut House of Representatives voted, 81 to 63, in favor of legislation that ends deceptive advertising affecting pregnant women. 

House Bill 7070, an act concerning deceptive advertising practices of limited service pregnancy centers, passed on May 16. The state Senate must vote on the bill before it can become law.

Sarah Croucher, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, said: "This is a straightforward bill that closes a loophole in current regulations. Everyone can agree that when someone is looking for a specific kind of reproductive healthcare provider, they should be able to find who they are looking for." 

Croucher said that during a Statehouse hearing, there was testimony about "fake women’s health centers that represent themselves as clinics offering abortion services." 

Westport Democrat Jonathan Steinberg, chairman of the House Public Health Committee, stressed the importance of access to time-sensitive healthcare  without deception. 

Connecticut's laws protecting abortion rights remain among the strongest in the nation. 

CT Roads Bottom Out Nationally

It's no surprise to most Nutmeggers: Connecticut ranks near the bottom among U.S. states when it comes to the condition of its roads, bridges and other infrastructure.  According to a recent report by U.S. News, the state ranks 46th in the nation in that category. The full report can be found by clicking here. 

Mayoral Candidate Bashes Ballooning City Budget

Chris Setaro, a Democrat running for Danbury mayor, is turning up the heat when it comes to government spending.

"The city’s budget has ballooned more than $100 million in the last 18 years -- an increase of more than 70 percent," Setaro said.

Danbury's $261.5 million municipal budget was approved on May 7 by the City Council, 14 to 7, along political party lines. 

"Not enough of those dollars are going to our schools, to improving our roads or hiring more police officers," Setaro said. "For the last three years, the city spent less per student than anyone else in the state, 169 out of 169, and our students are suffering."

Setaro, an attorney and former City Council president, is challenging Mayor Mark Boughton, the longest serving mayor in Danbury history.

Boughton, a Republican, noted that the budget as adopted includes $5.2 million of the additional $7 million requested by the Danbury Board of Education. Boughton has said he is developing a plan to address the districtwide increase in school enrollment. He said he would propose additions to existing schools rather than building a new school.

If Setaro secures the Democratic Party nomination, it would set up a rematch of his 2001 race against Boughton, who was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives at the time. 

Boughton is one of Connecticut’s most popular Republicans: He received the GOP endorsement for governor in 2018 before his loss to Bob Stefanowski in the primary election, as reported here by Daily Voice. Setaro served as an at-large member of the Danbury City Council from 1991 to 1998 and again from 2002 to 2003.

Please email government or political news from your town, preferably with a local photo, to jcraig@dailyvoice.com