Former Stratford Democratic Town Committee Members Announce Primaries
Sources: Town of Stratford, Ethan Fry, Reporter Connecticut Post
(For Ethan Fry’s complete article go to: https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Two-former-Democrats-of-the-Year-launch-16352910.php)
Two of Stratford former “Democrats of the Year” are now plotting primary challenges on September 14th to a pair of Democrat party-endorsed Town Council candidates.
In the 8th District, Dick Brown is gathering signatures to challenge Dianne Nolan.
Dianne Nolan received her undergraduate degree at Rowan University and graduate degree in Physical Education from West Virginia University. Nolan began her college teaching and coaching career at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. Her next stop was Fairfield University where she obtained a Master’s in Corporate and Political Communications and coached the Women’s Basketball Team for 28 years.
After stops at Yale and Lafayette College she retired having accumulated 575 Career Wins, Four NCAA Tournament Appearances, and the distinction of having every senior she ever coached graduate, on time, with their degree. Dianne has been inducted into more than a half dozen Athletic Halls of Fame and served on the Board of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club and The Field of Dreams of Bridgeport, CT. Currently, Dianne teaches at Central High School in Bridgeport, directs the Summer Springboard Program at Yale, and is a member of the ESPN3 Basketball Broadcast Crew at Quinnipiac University.
Dick Brown is a real estate agent with Re/Max in Trumbull, and serves on the Boothe Park Commission. Brown is also donor to Republican Mayor Laura Hoydick. He needs 64 required signatures among party members in the 8th District. Brown is also a candidate for constable, according to the filings posted online with the Stratford Town Clerks office. Brown has served in a number of positions over the course of decades of involvement in Stratford organizations and politics.
In the 9th, Rick Marcone is seeking support to primary Linda Chaffin.
Linda Chaffin channels her knowledge of civics and community participation as a Volunteer Director and Certified teacher, which combines her passion for teaching with community service work. She taught character education through service in districts throughout the State of Connecticut, for 13 years. Linda and her husband Tom co-lead an Indivisible group that worked to help get Phil Young elected twice. Linda has been active at the State level to get early voting passed in the legislature.
Marcone has been active in several community organizations for years, and was the Democrat Registrar of Voters until last year, when Democrats at their endorsement meeting for the post voted in favor of endorsing Jim Simon. Marcone then lost a primary to Simon for the position and came up short again in November after petitioning his way onto the general election ballot.
Marcone has since been hired as a part-time file clerk at Town Hall, according to campaign finance disclosures filed by Republican Mayor Laura Hoydick’s campaign, to which he donated $100 June 10th. Marcone needs to gather 59 signatures among party members in District 9.
In addition to the council races, outgoing 4th District Town Council member David Harden is planning a run for the Board of Zoning Appeals against Rene’ Marie Gibson.
Rene’ Marie Gibson lives in the 4th District. She graduated from Stratford High School, Heart Christian University, with certificates in Life Coach, Spiritual Counselor, and Chaplain. She also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Divinity from Heart Bible Christian University. She has studied at American Intercontinental University in their Business Administration and Gerontology Healthcare Administration B.A. programs.
For more than two decades Rene’ has been a Community Relations Representative for major health insurance companies, enrolling families into affordable healthcare plans, and an insurance broker specializing in retirement planning, family financial planning, senior and disability healthcare benefits, Medicare advantage, and supplement insurance products. She is the founder of the annual South End Day which has featured expos and youth sports tournaments since 2014. These events and activities are intergenerational, welcoming diverse cultures and populations to the South End of Stratford.
David Harden works in the medical field and is the outgoing Town Councilman for the 4th District.
Frank Bevacqua is seeking a town constable post, according to papers filed with the Town Clerk. Bevacqua is President at Imperial Metal Finishing in Stratford. He was a petitioning candidate for Constable in 2019, having not secured the endorsement from the Stratford Democratic Town Committee. He lost the 2019 election.
On the day they filed paperwork in Town Hall, Brown and Marcone attended a fundraiser for Jim Connor, the incumbent Republican Town Council member Brown is looking to challenge in November, according to photos posted on the Stratford Republican Town Committee’s Facebook page.
Brown, who serves with Connor on the Boothe Park Commission, said that his presumed Republican opponent is “a good guy” but that he wanted to give Democrats in the 8th District another option besides Nolan.
Brown stated that he and Marcone decided to run after the Democratic Town Committee’s July 21st endorsement meeting, which he criticized as disorganized.
“They couldn’t even get four candidates for the Board of Education,” he said. “The leadership is non-existent.”
Editor’s Note: Only 4 slots are open for the Board of Education, and, since there has to be at least 1 Republican on the Board it is customary for political parties to run 3 candidates, thus leaving one seat open for a Republican. Terms that expire include: Allison DelBene (D); Vincent Faggella (D); Robert DeLorenzo (D); Karen Rodia (R).
Nolan said she’s looking forward to the campaign. “I’m just very excited to be endorsed by the Democratic Party,” she said. “My campaign slogan is ‘All in For the 8th.’ I want to be a candidate who unifies everyone. I will campaign to get our message across to every voter in the district.”
Marcone, who has donated to his prospective GOP opponent this year, incumbent Bill O’Brien, said he decided to run because Chaffin moved to Stratford relatively recently and he would make a better choice. “I think the 9th District Democrats should have a choice of somebody who has been a lifelong Stratford resident and lived in the 9th District for 30 years,” he said. “I understand the 9th District and I know the people in the 9th District, that’s pretty much it.”