David Freedman and Legislative Council candidates Anthony Filiato and Ryan Knapp — or read about what's going on with Newtown's Democrats on the campaign trail. Click here for a full list of candidates, or take a look at the Nov. 5 ballot.For more information on first-time Republicans running this year, read Newtown Patch's profiles of Board of Education candidate
It's not the first time Board of Education member Kathy Hamilton has made the campaign rounds, but she's keeping busy preparing for the 2013 municipal election anyway.
Hamilton spent six hours at the transfer station Monday before appearing alongside three other Republican Board of Education candidates — chair Debbie Leidlein, Keith Anderson and David Freedman — at a debate organized by the Newtown Bee Tuesday night. She'll also be joining other Republicans at two upcoming events this weekend.
"This is my third time running as an elected official, so a lot of people I've met before and I'm touching base with them," she said. "It seems to be well-received. It's been very busy, that's for sure."
Experience is a common theme for Republicans this year, including Hamilton. She says as a former Legislative Council member, she brings an extra dimension to the Board of Education.
"The Republicans are very organized," she said. "We've been talking about this election since last November, and we had stopped for a while because of what happened [on Dec. 14.] We regrouped over the summer. We have a pretty good group running it — it's the same group we started running elections in 2007 and every year we do things a little better."
Republicans have made tax relief a major pillar of their campaign this year. In their most recent newsletter, they emphasize both fiscal responsibility in the budget and measures to provide further tax relief to residents, in part through encouraging commercial development.
"Reducing the tax burden for residential homeowners isn’t just about the size of our budget, but also, it is about attracting more commercial development to our town in a way that doesn’t affect our quality of life," they wrote.
Republicans are also conscious of concerns from seniors about high residential taxes this year. At an open forum last week, some seniors said they were being "priced out of town" and would show their dissatisfaction at the ballot box. First Selectman Pat Llodra, a Republican, urged seniors to be patient.
"We're trying to do something at the very time the economy is working against us," she said. "It's not that we don't know ... It's just going to take a little time to get there."
Still, Hamilton told Patch, it's been a little quiet. With Republican Selectmen Pat Llodra and Will Rodgers virtually assured victory, focus has turned to the Board of Education and Legislative Council. Among the few non-incumbent Republicans on the ticket is Anthony Filiato, picked to run for departing chair Jeff Capeci's seat.
"We were impressed with him, and he was interested in becoming involved again," Capeci told Patch when Filato was selected in August. "When I decided not to run, he stepped up to fill my spot ... I think he'll come to service with some experience."
Two current Legislative Council members, Neil Chaudhary and Ryan Knapp, have not yet won an election. Knapp, at 27, is one of the youngest Legislative Council members in recent history. Chaudhary took former council member Mitch Bolinsky's place when Bolinsky was elected as a State Representative last year.
Republicans will host two meet-and-greets Saturday: one at Village Perk from from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and one at the One-Eyed Pig from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.