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Lulaj: ‘Open, Accessible, and Honest’

Published Oct. 15, 2019

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Republican Francesco Lulaj, who has lived in town for the past 10 years and has become involved in the community as a parent, a business owner, and a volunteer, announced his run for Killingworth first selectman this May.

Lulaj was born and raised in Albania where he attended the military academy and was an athlete. He moved to the United States in 2002, building a “string of successful businesses.” He married his wife, Cassandra, in 2007, became a U.S. citizen in 2008, and moved to Killingworth in 2009. The couple has four children.

“My background enables me to better appreciate the importance of citizen involvement in all aspects of our community, from participating in elections to fostering individual volunteerism in civic organizations,” said Lulaj. “I want to help protect Killingworth’s way of life for future generations and I believe it’s time for a change. Killingworth is unique in many ways. People mostly do for themselves, here.”

Lulaj and his family opened La Foresta on Route 81 in 2014. They began with renovations of the building to create a restaurant that has earned numerous awards and wide recognition.

With this bid for first selectman, many of the restaurant’s day-to-day operations have been transitioned to Lulaj’s brother, Mario.

If elected, Lulaj plans to focus on transparency in the government.

“There have been too many instances recently of our town government taking positions on important matters with little or no public input. If the citizens will be faced with the bills, they should have more say in how the money is spent,” said Lulaj. “At a minimum, I will ensure the Board of Selectmen is consulted in all important matters. I will also ensure matters are placed on the agenda well in advance and will use so-called executive sessions sparingly.”

Another thing Lulaj loves about the Town of Killingworth is the spirit of volunteerism found in its residents. Lulaj has been involved with his church, his children’s school, the volunteer fire company, and Parmelee Farm.

“I understand that the backbone of our town is the willingness of neighbors to help their neighbors,” said Lulaj. “I am very active in my church and my kids’ schools and have volunteered for numerous charity organizations. I have been highly supportive, in a very meaningful way, of the fire company and Parmelee Farm.”

According to his website, Lulaj is running on a platform of “controlling spending and opposing tax increases, improving town services through innovation and vigorous management, and working to protect and preserve Killingworth’s rural character.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work,” said Lulaj. “I’m self-made and have no obligations to anyone but the people of Killingworth. I can be counted on to be open, accessible, and honest at every turn.”

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