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Westport's First Selectman Candidates Face Off In Debate Monday Night

The Westport League of Women voters will host two candidate debates in Town Hall this month.
The Westport League of Women voters will host two candidate debates in Town Hall this month. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The League of Women Voters of Westport will host two candidate debates before the Nov. 5 municipal election.

The debates will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 7 and 15 in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium. They will be simultaneously televised on Channel 79.

The Y’s Women of Westport are co-sponsors. Charlotte Garrell, former president of the League of Women Voters Fairfield, will serve as moderator for both events.

The first debate Oct. 7 will be for candidates for First Selectman, Second Selectman, Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Candidates for First Selectman in the debate will be Helen Garten (D) and Jim Marpe (R), and for Second Selectman will be Melissa Kane (D) and Avi Kaner (R). The Zoning Board of Appeals candidates participating will be Wally Sutherland (R), Sheri Gordon (D) and Bernard Deverin (D). Planning and Zoning Commission candidates will include Andra Vebell (D), David Lessing (D) and Alan Hodge (D).

This year, newly formed party the Coalition for Westport, has nominated Glenn Payne, David Press and Denise Lassman Torve as candidates for the Planning and Zoning Commission, each of whom will be participating in the debate.

On Oct. 15, the debate will feature candidates for the Board of Education, Board of Finance and Probate Judge.

Michael McGovern (R), Karen Kleine (R), Jeannie Smith (R), Elaine Whitney (D) and Brett Aronow (D) will vie for election to the Board of Education. Debating for the Board of Finance will be Jennifer Tooker (R), Blake Benke (D), Brian Stern (D), and Lee Caney (D). Lisa Wexler (R) and Kieran Costello (D) will participate in the debate as candidates for Probate Judge.

During each debate, the candidates will be asked to answer questions collected from the audience, as well as have the opportunity to make a closing statement.

The League of Women Voters of Westport, now in its 64th year, is a nonpartisan organization that promotes informed and active participation in government and community. The group neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate. For more information about the debates, contact Celeste LaCroix at or (203)227-2980.

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