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Matt Fleming (R) Wants Change in Run for Essex First Selectman Seat

Published Oct. 15, 2019

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Ivoryton resident Matt Fleming is eager to apply his life experience to public service and has thrown his hat in the ring as the Republican first selectman candidate in Essex.

Fleming, a design engineer for Electric Boat, who is originally from Granby, has served locally as a volunteer fireman and nationally in the Navy on the flight deck of the USS Saratoga. He has lived in town for a little more than four years and has enjoyed the area for more than 30 years as a long-time avid sailor.

“I’m an honest, hard-working guy who loves the town of Essex and can not picture myself living any place else,” said Fleming.

Fleming has spent the majority of his life as an unaffiliated voter, but is returning to his Republican roots, stating that he sees the Democratic party, not just locally, but on a larger scale, taking the country in a bad direction. A member of the Young Republicans as a teen, he describes himself as more conservative than Democrats, but liberal on certain matters.

“I know what its like to struggle and I would like to make a change in this town,” said Fleming.

“I think the people deserve a better leader,” he said. “My political opinion is: Get involved if you don’t like what’s going on.”

Fleming said he would like to create a place where families can prosper, citing his interest in bringing more affordable housing into town—not necessarily Section 8 housing, but housing that’s reasonably priced for young people to come and live in the community.

“Right now, young people can’t live in our community, they can’t afford it,” he said. “I want to work to make that possible again, to repopulate our schools and attract more residents who are not just between the ages of 45 and 80. I want to do the right thing and listen to the community. That’s my biggest thing. I am running for a political position so I can serve the community,” said Fleming.

He added, “I also want to take a closer look at the town budget to ensure that all the money taken from taxes is going to the appropriate places and I want to focus on the roads, sewers, and trees in town. There is a lot of work being done on the main roads in town, but not much work on the back roads, and I want to change that. Many constituents have complained to me about downed trees, long power outages, and road conditions.”

Fleming said he has high hopes of getting the opportunity to lead the Town of Essex into the future and that he is motivated to put the time into the position and get things done.

“I think to run the community you have to be the guy that feels it in his heart and wants things to be better for the whole community,” said Fleming.

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