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Westport Democrats Nominate Garten, Kane For Selectmen

Westport Board of Finance Vice Chairwoman Helen Garten (left) and Representative Town Meeting member Melissa Kane, both Democrats, are running as candidates for first and second selectman in November's municipal elections.
Westport Board of Finance Vice Chairwoman Helen Garten (left) and Representative Town Meeting member Melissa Kane, both Democrats, are running as candidates for first and second selectman in November's municipal elections. Photo Credit: Contributed: Lee Arthurs

WESTPORT,  Conn. – Westport Democrats  Helen Garten and Melissa Kane will challenge Republicans Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner for the town’s top two positions in November’s municipal elections.

Garten, vice chairwoman of the Board of Finance, and Kane, a Representative Town Meeting member, were unanimously endorsed by the Westport Democratic Town Committee as candidates for first and second selectman, respectively. The nominations were made Thursday night.

“With Melissa Kane at my side, we are the right people at the right time for Westport,” Garten told fellow Democrats at Thursday’s meeting.

Marpe, former vice chairman of the Board of Education, and Kaner, chairman of the finance board, were endorsed on Tuesday night as the Republican Party’s choice for first and second selectman candidates.

"Our proven track record speaks for itself as we successfully navigated the town through these recessionary years, emerging with a more stable financial foundation," Marpe said in a statement Thursday night.

Garten, former Board of Finance chairwoman, is a law professor at Rutgers University.  Both she and Kaner have been on the board since 2005. Prior to her election to the board, Garten served on the Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body.

Kane was elected to the RTM in 2011 and is a representative of District 3.

Joining Garten and Kane on the Democratic ballot will be Board of Education members Elaine Whitney — the board’s chairwoman — and Brett Aronow, who are seeking re-election to their positions.

Also seeking re-election is Board of Finance member Brian Stern and Board of Assessment Appeals member Elaine Arnow.

Running alongside Stern in the finance board race will be newcomers Blake Benke and Lee Caney. Jeff Jacobs was also nominated to run as a candidate for the Board of Assessment Appeals.

The committee picked Westport attorney Kieran Costello as its candidate for the probate judge race.

The DTC also nominated Sherry Gordon for the Zoning Board of Appeals, along with one “placeholder” candidate, DTC Chairman Jim Ezzes said. Three “placeholder” candidates were also nominated for the Planning and Zoning Commission, he said.

Current First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, a Democrat, who was first elected to his post in 2005, announced in January he would not seek re-election to a third term.

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