With First Selectman Pat Llodra and selectmen James Gaston and Will Rodgers running unopposed, it's safe to say the makeup of Newtown's highest elected offices won't change on Election Day.
Click here to see a full list of candidates, or take a look at sample ballots provided by the town.
But races in the Board of Education and the Legislative Council are driving a fundraising push involving larger sums than recent municipal election years -- in some cases, by a substantial amount. While Democrats outraised and outspent Republicans (at least through September), both parties have funds on hand that exceed anything from the last three municipal election cycles.
Each major party's platform focuses heavily on a single message. Democrats are emphasizing balance; Republicans are running on experience. Some candidates, including Republican Board of Education candidate Kathy Hamilton, credit the high interest in low-ticket races to some difficult decisions for these boards over the next few years.
"It's an extremely critical time for the Board of Education," she told Patch. "We have to get this right."
Some interesting facts from reports:
- Democrats had nearly twice as much on hand at the end of September as Republicans: $10,559, compared to Republicans' $5,246. That's more than any Newtown party has held at this point in an election year since 2005, including years with state and national names on the ballot.
- Republicans have still amassed a large campaign pot. Their cash on hand as of Sept. 30 dwarfs 2011 (when they held $2,406) and exceeds 2009 ($4,689.) It even exceeds major election years, including last year, when the party had $4,029 at the same point.
- Democrats also raised more in donations from individuals through the same period. They received $8,830, compared to Republicans' $3,330. At least through September, 2013 has been a big year for campaign contributions to municipal candidates. It's the largest for Republicans since 2007, and the largest for Democrats since 2005.
- Individual contributions to Democrats were substantially higher than those for Republicans, according to campaign finance reports. Two Sandy Hook residents alone contributed nearly $1,000 to Democrats, as well as contributions totaling $1,250 from the Carpenters Local 210 in Fairfield.
- Republicans spent $1,320 in July through September -- including materials for a fundraiser and rental space at the Little Theatre. Democrats spent $1,685 in the same period, including purchases from merchandise makers Godfather Promotions, the Newtown Bee and the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission.
(Note: these figures cover the year from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, so may not include recent expenditures like campaign signs, or recent donations. The full reports are included as PDF files above. The Independent Party of Newtown is not fielding a roster of candidates this year.)