Two new Democrats in the race to represent New Canaan
Updated 3:45 pm, Thursday, June 5, 2014
At least two Democratic candidates will battle the Republicans to represent New Canaan in the state House of Representatives and Senate.
They are former Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel and Wilton businessman Philip Sharlach.
Garfunkel's bid is for the 142nd General Assembly District, which includes the northern and western parts of Norwalk, as well as a portion of New Canaan. Sharlach is running for the 26th Senatorial District, which covers New Canaan, Wilton, Westport, Weston, Ridgefield, Redding and Bethel.
Garfunkel, who was endorsed by local Democratic delegates at a May 20 convention in Norwalk, said he would "make sure the state's on top of Metro-North" and the railroad's ongoing issues if he's elected on Nov. 4. He said he would consider ways to help improve New Canaan's cellphone coverage and elderly care services, and would also look into the status of the temporary post office location.
The candidate served as Norwalk's town clerk for 10 years before he unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2011.
He hopes to fill the seat vacated by House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, who is retiring after 22 years.
Garfunkel will challenge the GOP's nominee, Emily Wilson, or Fred Wilms, who plans to petition for a primary Aug. 12.
In the race for the 26th Senatorial District, Sharlach, who was unanimously endorsed by local Democratic delegates at a convention in Weston in May, will face Republican incumbent Toni Boucher or her challenger, Walter Reddy, should he petition for a primary, on Nov. 4.
Sharlach has a nearly 40-year career in business and corporate management and has worked for the U.S. General Accountability Office and served as an adjunct professor in management accounting at the University of New Haven.
"We need representatives in Hartford who understand the value of investment and can achieve progress, not obstruct it," he said in a statement. "After a long career in business and as a retiree, I understand the critical need to practice fiscal responsibility, but at the same time, make the investments necessary to promote economic growth."
Jane Himmel, chairman of the New Canaan Democratic Town Committee, said the party probably would not have candidates for the 125th District, which covers New Canaan and Wilton and is represented by Republican Tom O'Dea, or for the 36th Senatorial District, which covers New Canaan, Greenwich and Stamford, and is represented by Republican L. Scott Frantz.
The Democratic Party also won't have a candidate for probate judge of New Canaan-Darien, according to Himmel.
New Canaan attorney William Osterndorf, a Republican, is the only candidate for the position so far.
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