It's Official: Thornton's Running for Trumbull First Selectman

She was nominated at the Democratic Town Committee convention Monday at Tashua Knolls, where the democrats' slate was also selected. The republican convention takes place tonight at Tashua Knolls.

Following a two-hour convention Monday night at , Trumbull democrats chose their slate of candidates, two for each Town Council District. Voters can elect two candidates and the third highest vote-getter gets the third spot.

Several republicans, including Board of Finance member Andy Palo and Board of Education member Tom Kelly, also attended the convention.

"I agree with Mrs. Thornton that we need to change the direction of the town. I'm pleased to be here tonight to support her candidacy," Kelly said.

The republicans will also nominate two candidates for each district and candidates for the other positions tonight at Tashua Knolls. 


  • District 1: Gregg Basbagill, Deep Gorge Road    

                       Michael Rappa, Parkwood Road

  • District 2: Fernando Palmieri, Erwin Street  

                       Robert Sojka, Hidden Pond Lane     

  • District 3: Mitchell Hallock, Stonehouse Road

                       Vicki Tesoro, Beechwood Avenue

  • District  4: John DelVecchio Jr., Frelma Drive

                        Sonya Wich, Killian Avenue

  • District 5: Matthew Reale, Brewster Place

                        Martha Jankovic-Mark, Regina Street 

  • District 6: James Meisner, Driftwood Lane

                       Thomas Ragonese, Claire Place

  • District 7:  Thomas Whitmoyer, Lindberg Drive 

                        Louis Bevilacqua, Washington Street 

  • CONSTABLES: Valerie  Sorrentino, Lake Avenue 

                             Ross Jenacaro, Algonquin Trail


    Term 12/05/11 to 12/05/16: Richard Puskar, Stemway Road

    Term 12/03/12 to 12/04/17: Lino Costantini, Huntington Turnpike


      Term 12/05/11 to 12/05/16: Anthony Silber, Stag Lane 

      Term: 12/03/12 to 12/04/17:


           Scott Charmoy, Palomino Pass


       Term: 12/05/11 to 12/07/15: Michael Ward, Pemberton Drive

       Term: 12/05/11 to 12/02/13: Rosemary Seaman, Garwood Road

  • BOARD OF FINANCE: Mark Manton, Cherry Gate Lane

                                       Lisa Valenti, Wood Avenue

  • TREASURER: Tom Christiano, White Plains Road 
  • TOWN CLERK: Rose Lodice, Canoe Brook Road
  • FIRST SELECTMAN: Mary Beth Thornton, Cherry Gate Lane

Praise for Thornton, Attacks on Herbst

The candidates made veiled references to First Selectman Tim Herbst, charging him with failing to abide by the Town Charter and dividing the community.

Republican Kate Donahue praised Thornton, with whom she attended .

"She already knew she wanted to be a medical illustrator...Wait, or was it president of the United States? Oh, that's the other candidate, I'm sorry," Donahue said, to a round of laughter and applause.

She said she admired how Thornton listened and tried to resolve issues without attracting attention. She also vowed after First Selectman Ray Balwdin's loss in 2009 to vote for Thornton if the councilwoman ran for the top town office. Thornton is currently council minority leader.

Thornton then took the microphone.

"I have a deep commitment to this town. My ambition begins and ends in serving Trumbull. My priority has been the people of Trumbull, not politics," Thornton said.

"I will govern with common sense that comes from my experience and my respect for the skills and duties of those around me - no subterfuge, no illegal meetings, no self-serving legal maneuvering," Thornton said.

She also listed her qualifications:  "a professional and businesswoman for over 30 years," eight years on the Town Council and numerous leadership roles as a community acitivist.

She then outlined four areas her campaign would address: public safety, fiscal responsibility, education and charter revision.

She especially stressed growing the town's commercial base, citing the town's location at the intersection of three major arteries, "proximity to universities, hospitals, our education system.

"[They] all create a potential for this essential growth," she said. "We will advocate for mixed-use districts while preserving their historic significance. We will continue to expand commercial development in the industrial zones, including Lindeman Drive."

The charter, she said, is being amended in the most partisan way allowable. "A charter should not be a partisan document," the candidate said.

"There are lost opportunities, lost revenues and a lack of transparency that have resulted in a breakdown of trust, cooperation, and fair compromise," Thornton added.

Referring to the time a lightning strike started a fire that destroyed her home in 2009, she said, "They say that lightning never strikes twice. But the upcoming campaign will be contentious and hard fought. So I expect lightning to strike repeatedly and often. That’s what lightning rods are for."

"Bring it on!", she concluded.

Amy Palmer July 26, 2011 at 03:01 PM
What a fantastic line up of people for our town....... Go Democratics and Go Trumbull!!
Kathleen McGannon July 26, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Marybeth is an AMAZING woman. Smart, experienced and HUMBLE. What an asset to our town!!!!!
Thomas Tesoro July 26, 2011 at 08:02 PM
The ticket includes Democrats, former Republicans and Unaffiliated voters all running under the Democratic banner. It has new names and some old favorites all of whom have a record of service to the Community. Is a true reflection of the Town and how the Town will be governed come next December . An excellent ticket with no litmus tests required.
Mark E Smith July 26, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Yes we remember Tom Christiano former State Legislature for Trumbull, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UNDPQFLHKM you tube video. If he can't read the laws he voted on in the state legislature how is he going to be our town Treasurer? He voted for unfunded mandates in our schools and now Mary Beth Thornton and the Democrats want him as our Treasurer? Is that what we can expect from Ms. Thorton and the Democrats? More rubber stamping and higher taxes??? These are retreads of the Baldwin administration that gave you the 11.7% Property tax proposal. Also If I was a real Democrat I would be upset that there are so many self proclaimed "fiscal conservatives" in my party. The Democrats are truly a party with an Identity crisis. So, what do the voters get? "2% Tim" or "Tax you to Death Mary Beth"
Tom Kelly July 26, 2011 at 11:02 PM
Mark, a video like this is not necessary and is truly in the gutter of politics. Tony Hwang never sanctioned this video before it was anonymously put out 3 years ago. It does not say who paid for it, and it does not indicate that the video has been edited and is not actual footage of what was said. It's dirty pool, and you certainly wouldn't want something like this used against you when you ran for State Senate. This video should not be part of decent political discussion.
Tom Kelly July 26, 2011 at 11:04 PM
And let me say this...I vehemently condemned the Democrats when they ran attack mailers against T.R. Rowe 3 years ago which were in poor taste....and I asked Mr. Baldwin about them at an Open Forum, so this is not a partisan statement. These kinds of things make whomever puts them out look very bad and they should not be used.
Thomas Tesoro July 27, 2011 at 12:04 AM
It is the intention of the Democrats to run a campaign we can be proud of, win or lose. Mr. Smith's comments clearly reflect the kind of campaign we can expect from the Republicans, angry and negative, just like they govern. Mr. Smith resorts to the politics of the personal destruction, attacking people, calling names and the like. We could all say many things about Mr. Smith and some of his actions and comments but, we refrain, they speak for themselves. Instead, the Democrats will offer a real alternative to the anger , the division and the childishness,,,that will be composure, compromise and maturity.
Thomas Tesoro July 27, 2011 at 12:04 AM
It is the intention of the Democrats to run a campaign we can be proud of, win or lose. Mr. Smith's comments clearly reflect the kind of campaign we can expect from the Republicans, angry and negative, just like they govern. Mr. Smith resorts to the politics of the personal destruction, attacking people, calling names and the like. We could all say many things about Mr. Smith and some of his actions and comments but, we refrain, they speak for themselves. Instead, the Democrats will offer a real alternative to the anger , the division and the childishness,,,that will be composure, compromise and maturity.
Mark E Smith July 27, 2011 at 01:05 AM
This is not new its been on youtube for years. This has been part of the public domaine for three years. Why hasn't anyone in the Democratic party stepped say what Mr. Christiano said is false? I remember this night because I was there at this event and personally heard the same. Sure, someone added their own editorial but the video part of it has not been questioned or challenged. No, its not 'dirty' politics this is what Mr. Christiano said, why are you saying that a video of what he said at a public meeting is dirty politics? Please Mr. Tesoro stop trying to come across as "Mr. Perfect" and "Mr. Virtue", you are one of the main reasons why I left politics and have never been happier to do so. Is this all you have, attack me to negate the weaknesses of your party? That is all you have? Open your eyes, you and the Democratic party have much more to worry about than me, you have the regular folks in Trumbull who actually know whats going on, who are fighting to keep their jobs and homes. While the limousine liberals in Trumbull who call themselves Democrats are trying to create another Westport out of Trumbull. BTW, I don't belong to any campaign so stop trying to say I represent anyone. If there is anyone I do like and want to win in November it is the Taxpayers of Trumbull. Those same people the Democrats have no clue of who they are. "2% Tim vs. Tax'em to Death Mary Beth" is the difference in this campaign.
Alexander B. C. July 27, 2011 at 01:15 AM
A vote for a democrat is a vote for slow slavery.
Thomas Tesoro July 27, 2011 at 01:42 AM
Mark, I honor your service as a Marine, I honor your willingness to serve our Town and I will leave it at that. I will say that I am neither Mr. Perfect nor Mr. Virtue, if you don't believe me, ask my wife. To the readers, when the Republicans begin to speak about people who are suffering, ask them why their Brothers in Washington are fighting so hard to keep millionaires and billionaires from paying more taxes while all the time trying to gut Social Security or worse, turn it over to Wall Street? Ask the Republicans right here in Trumbull what programs have they proposed to relieve local suffering? Ask them why when Mary Beth Thornton proposed the expansion of Senior Tax relief the Republicans would not even consider it. Ask, I am sure the answer will be entertaining if not enlightening. No, the difference in this campaign is very real, we have a First Selectman who made many promises but failed to deliver. His 2% is really more since we are now using supplemental appropriations to pay for things that belonged in the operating budget and are using the Town Credit Card for operating expenses. If we had a real budget, the tax increase would have been more like 3,5 to 4%. Watch for Mary Beth Thornton's platform on fiscal responsibility then you will understand the difference between Republican gimmicks and Democratic reform. Finally, we will run a campaign that will make the citizens proud and set an example for how it should be done.
Kathleen McGannon July 27, 2011 at 01:50 AM
If our FS is so concerned about Trumbull residents perhaps he can answer why he showed up for a "photo op" at the NIA food drive for the Trumbull Food Pantry EMPTY HANDED and donation-less. Now THAT shows real concern for the residents--take my picture, take my picture at the food drive! But, oops! I didn't even think to bring a can of soup or a five dollar bill!
Jose July 27, 2011 at 02:04 AM
I would have thought your failed senate campaign and inability to function as the leader of the BOF would have been a opportunity for you to reflect, refocus and perhaps renew. Clearly, you need more time to rehabilitate. Whether Democrat or Republican, leaders need to be less focused on defeating the opposition and more interested in what contributes to the greater good of the community. In the last 2 years, the leadership and the majority party have been more focused of self rather than service. Therefore, I hold out hope for change come election day!
Tom Kelly July 27, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Jose, responsibility in political discussion goes both ways. I want to point out that Mark did not have a failed State Senate campaign, he withdrew to take care of his wife, who was dealing with some health issues.
CTPati July 27, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Perfectly legitimate to put forth a politician's *actual words* and *voting record.* But you DEMs are eating your sour grapes--not surprising that you would attack the process of making your colleagues *accountable* for their votes and actions. Of course when your FS candidate voted 5 or 6 times for TAX increases averaging 6 % annually---that's a tough record to own up to! It reminds me of Obama trying to paint himself as fiscally conservative--Republican sounding--back in 2008. Thornton is about as believable. LOL
Anthony Musto July 27, 2011 at 01:42 PM
Mark, who knew you were so poetic? But just because it rhymes doesn't make it true. Talk about retreads - your convention was simply "taxes taxes taxes." It worked two years ago because Tim said he would keep taxes at inflation minus 1% and improve schools. Both promises were broken. Show me an 11.7% tax increase that Mary Beth voted for. But if your current issue is dereliction of duty you should not throw stones. Abdicating your role, as Chairman no less, in the middle of budget season and walking out of a meeting you were charged with running because you were mad? I would be too embarrassed to keep coming back and attacking others on multiple websites had I acted so irrationally. If you are going to comment please limit it to relevant facts and, perhaps, add a dose of humility appropriate to your own actions.
Cindy Penkoff July 27, 2011 at 04:23 PM
I have nothing against Mr. Christiano personally but it should be very clear that his statement about "one and done" applies to him more so that than the candidates that he attacks that have served the town in many different capacities for many years. If I remember correctly, he was 1 and done. And yes, the fact that he did not read those things that he supported and still claimed to represent the Trumbull residents, is not something he should be proud of and the Trumbull taxpayers should be reminded of. As Treasurer, every minor detail counts.
Thomas Tesoro July 27, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Mr. Christiano was referring to the Trumbull history where Republican First Selctman typically have a single term, i,e. one and done. Mr. Christiano has served this Town for some time and if I remember correctly, he was re-elected. The seat he held in Hartford was a seat traditionally held by a Republican so the fact that he held it at all was a major upset and a rare event. It was no surprise he was not re-elected and the result would have pretty much been the same even without the putrid attack. I am pleased to hear that Rep. Hwang had no knowledge of it beforehand, otherwise my high opinion of him would be considerably reduced. So, before you get snarky with Mr. Christiano, it would be best to know his many years of Community service, the offices he has held and the fact that he has worked for MANY years and will continue to work for the betterment of Trumbull whether he is elected or not.
CTPati July 27, 2011 at 04:50 PM
It is not "snarky" for someone to be held accountable for their words, votes, and actions--and *especially* for NOT reading bills before voting on them!! If an elected official has no time to READ before he/she votes, then that person does NOT belong in "public service"! Your defense of Christiano is pretty lame, and full of pap and boilerplate. Most of those in congress could be "defended" with similar meaningless pap about "many years of ...service," while in FACT they have done their jobs incompetently, bringing our nation to the precipice of financial destruction!
Kathleen McGannon July 27, 2011 at 05:08 PM
I, too, was at the meeting at which Mr. Christiano apologized for missing the unfunded mandate that got through. It was buried, as are many things that surprise the electorate, in another important bill. Unfortunately, that is how many elected officials get something through that might never stand on its own. He was honest, as he always is, and he did not try to justify a vote for an unfunded mandate by spinning, as many others would have done. He apologized for missing it in the larger bill, and vowed to fight against it. I also hope Mr. Hwang was not aware of the cut, paste, and edit ad that was done on his behalf. Shame on his campaign staff for doing AND for not making him aware. I like Mr. Hwang and would hope he would have disapproved of it being used. Tom C is a great person to run for Treasurer. And Cindy, wait for the first time you misspeak on whatever board you end up on. It will happen. It always does. And let's hope people are more forgiving of you than you are of Tom.
Afreedman2011 July 27, 2011 at 07:24 PM
I don't wish on you what my ancestors actually went through as slaves. You don't know how good you have it in the greatest country in the history of the world.
CTPati July 27, 2011 at 08:06 PM
B.C. refers to being a slave to BIG government--i.e. "Tyranny," which is what the DEMS running Washington have in mind for us, by TAXES that confiscate more and more of our property, and "regulations" telling us what we MUST do or cannot do in almost every aspect of our lives . Yes, it has been "the greatest country in the history of the world." That may NOT be true now, under PBO. "Serfman" should be your new moniker, if you continue to support DEMS no matter how many of your *freedoms* the federal government (and CT) grab away from you. If you care about that, check out the Frederick Douglass Republicans. You also need to read "The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America," by Daniel Hannan.
Thomas Tesoro July 27, 2011 at 08:21 PM
No one is going to rise to the bait put forward by the local Tea Party adherents. Talk of "slavery", calling MaryBeth Thornton "Ray Baldwin in a skirt" (actually written on TChat) and the negativity you see in others here has no place in Trumbull. We all lose our tempers from time to time but, Mary Beth wants a civil campaign. When we point out the many flaws, broken promises and failings of the current administration, we should do so respectfully. We don't ned to be negative to win, just show the facts.
Kathleen McGannon July 27, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Unfortunately, Tom, when we point out all the broken promises and missteps of the current administration, people will label it " negative campaigning". But it will be factual and truthful. If it reflects negatively upon our FS, that is how it goes. It will be done respectfully and factually, but I can understand how the Republicans will think it is negative campaigning. Now that Mr. Herbst has to run on his record, pointing his failures and broken promises will not be negative campaign tactics, it will just be the truth.
Thomas Tesoro July 27, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Kathy, Calling an apple an apple may offend an orange but an apple is still an apple. My point is that I amsure the Republicans will try to do all in their power to say we are negative..in fact it has begun already. However, the fact that the Republicans promised all day kindergarten "Now" and the fact that it did not happen may be called negative but it is a fact. Calling Mary Beth Thornton "Ray baldwin in a skirt." Is not a fact. It is insulting and demeaning to anyone who thinks and is a particular affront to women. That is negative.
Afreedman2011 July 27, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Slavery is what Jews suffered under Nazi Germany.What blacks suffered in the South up through the Civil War , what Cambodians suffered under Pol Pot and what Ugandans suffered under Idi Amin. You throw around the term slavery without any real understanding of what that term means. Second, it is totally hypocritical that a significant part of your depraved tea party agenda is to take away a woman's choice to abort unwanted fetuses, to eliminate the use of contraception on all but married people, to forbid loving gay couples from marrying or adopting children or to allowing the use of stem cells to cure fatal diseases. Those are real American freedoms you would have no problems denying to others. You are a sad and pathetic human being.


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