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Westport GOP Committee Backs Marpe, Kaner For Selectmen

Westport residents Jim Marpe (left) and Avi Kaner were unanimously endorsed by the Westport Republican Town Committee as candidates for first and second selectman, respectively. Photo Credit: Marpe/Kaner for Selectmen Facebook
From left, Republican's Jeannie Smith, Jim Marpe, Jennifer Tooker and Avi Kaner were nominated as candidates in this November's election. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. — It’s official: Westport’s Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner will lead the Republican ballot in November as candidates for first and second selectman, respectively. The pair unanimously was endorsed by the full Westport Republican Town Committee Tuesday night.

Also appearing on the ballot will be current school board members Jennifer Tooker, Michael McGovern and Jeannie Smith. Tooker will run for a position on the board of finance, while McGovern — current board of education vice chairman — and Smith will seek re-election to the education board.

“We are absolutely delighted with our strong slate of candidates heading into the November elections,” committee Chairwoman Desiree Soli said.  “With Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner’s leadership on the board of selectman, Mike McGovern’s and Jeannie Smith’s continued guidance on the board of education, and the addition of Jennifer Tooker to the very strong team we have on the board of finance, I am convinced Westport’s future will be bright.

“Our candidates understand the challenges and opportunities facing Westport, and they are the best prepared, most qualified public servants to lead us forward,” she said.

Marpe, former vice chairman and acting chairman of the school board, has been a Westport resident since 1989. He served on the school board from 2005 to this past November, when he stepped down to pursue his bid for first selectman.

Professionally, Marpe worked 32 years with Accenture, a global management consulting firm from which he retired as a senior partner.

Kaner, current chairman of the board of finance, also is a longtime resident. He has served on the board of education for the past eight years. Professionally, Kaner is an owner of Morton Williams, a New York City supermarket chain. He formerly worked as a principal with the management consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton.

The committee is in the process of interviewing an additional school board candidate, as well as candidates for the Westport Board of Zoning Appeals and the Westport Board of Assessment Appeals.

The Westport Democratic Town Committee will meet at 8 p.m. Thursday to select its November candidates. Current Westport Board of Finance Vice Chairwoman Helen Garten is expected to receive the official nomination for first selectman.

Current First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, a Democrat, announced in January  he would not be seeking re-election.

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