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July 4, 2020
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2019 Races for BOS, BOF in Essex

Published Oct. 22, 2019

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In the Tuesday, Nov. 5 election, Essex voters will be asked to weigh in on competitive races for the Board of Selectmen as well as Board of Finance. All other races are uncontested this year.

Incumbent Democratic First Selectman Norm Needleman will run against Republican Matt Fleming. The losing candidate in the first selectman race will compete with the two selectman candidates for second and third selectmen. Of those three, the two with the most votes will serve on the Board of Selectmen alongside the winner of the first selectman race.

Needleman was unanimously nominated to seek a fifth term by his party. Needleman, who was also elected state senator in 2018 to represent the 12 towns that make up the 33rd District, is also a business owner and has extensive town government experience.

Fleming, nominated by the Republicans for first selectman, is a Navy veteran who attended Roger Williams College. He has worked in the mechanical engineering field and started a small business called Fleming Construction, LLC. Currently he works in design engineering for Electric Boat. He has served his community as a volunteer fireman, is an avid sailor, and has lived in Ivoryton for the past four-plus years.

Incumbent candidates for selectman are Republican Bruce Glowac, who has more than 30 years of town service and has served on the Firehouse Building Committee, School Building Committee, and Regional Board of Education, and incumbent Democratic candidate Stacia Libby, who is active in the community and is currently serving her fourth term on Board of Selectman.

The Board of Finance features a race for two six-year terms, with incumbent Democrats Mary-Louise Polo and vice-chair W. Campbell Hudson facing Republican challengers Carolyn E. Field and Philip J. Beckman.

Beckman is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds a B.S. in math, an M.S. in operations research, and a master’s in engineering management. He is a principal engineer at Electric Boat and he and his wife have lived in Ivoryton for 22 years.

Field has lived in Essex for 21 years. She is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and she has eight years of former management experience. She worked for 14 years at the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency and she brings experience on budgeting and municipal issues to the table.

Hudson is a graduate of Tulane University and was admitted to practice law Connecticut in 1976. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and its program Save the Sound and previously served as its president. He is president of the Essex Historical Society.

Polo has lived in Ivoryton for several years and also serves on the Essex Retirement Board.

For the Essex Board of Education, Democrat Cassandra S. Sweet will be seated for a six-year term.

On the Board of Assessment Appeals, incumbent Republican Coral L. Rawn and Democrat George B. Wendell will serve six-year terms.

For the Region 4 Board of Education, Republican incumbent D.G. Fitton was cross-endorsed for another six-year term.

For absentee voter ballot information call the Essex Town Clerk at 860-767-4340 ext. 129.

Find more information on the candidates and voter registration information in our Online Voter Guide at

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