Kupchick kicks off first selectman campaign to packed house
FAIRFIELD — Town residents came out in full force Thursday at a campaign fundraiser for state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, who last month announced her intention to run against First Selectman Michael Tetreau.
Dozens gathered at Local Kitchen and were high spirits as Kupchick, a Republican, confirmed her run to unseat two-term Democrat, Tetreau. If elected, Kupchick would be the second woman in Fairfield history elected to the position, after Jacky Durrell held the seat from 1983 to 1993. In 2011, Sherri Steeneck stepped in as acting first selectman.
“I am humbled by the amazing show of support since making my announcement and for this amazing turnout from residents from all political parties at our kick-off fundraiser,” Kupchick said. “... Fairfield is my past, my present and my future. Fairfield is my hometown and has always been an important part of who I am.”
Board of Finance Chairman Tom Flynn, Kupchick’s running mate, has filed to run for selectman, and Town Clerk Betsy Browne will seek another four-year term.
Inspired by her many years of active involvement with the Fairfield PTA, Kupchick began her venture into politics in the mid-1990s after founding an education advocacy group called “One Voice.” Soon after, she served on the Representative Town Meeting and as an active member of the Board of Education for more than a decade before being elected as a state representative in 2011.
State Sen. Tony Hwang attended the fundraiser and said, “The energy here is palpable. We have such a great cross section which includes Democrats and Republicans. The one common theme here is this is all about Fairfield. That’s what’s so exciting for me, is the fact that for us as state delegation members, our heart is always in the town that we live in. ... We do have problems and challenges but I truly believe what I see and feel in the spirit of this community and this event is the momentum that is necessary to move us forward.”
“I think this is a historic race for obvious reasons,” said interim campaign manager Alex Plitsas. “But this is not being defined by gender it’s being defined by experience. A lot of people have commented they’re excited to have a woman in the race, but it’s not just simply a woman — it’s Brenda Kupchick. ... She is truly uniquely qualified to take on the challenges that are coming and lead the town forward in the future, not only in terms of weathering the storm, but also being the person to promote growth to better situate us for the future.”
State Rep. Laura Devlin, R-134, said she too is “excited about the prospect of Brenda Kupchick becoming first selectman of Fairfield and Tom Flynn as selectman. They are a dynamic team that has a great vision for our community. She is someone who has spent her life here and is so invested.”
James Millington, the Fairfield Republican Town Committee concurred. “Brenda embodies what Fairfield is about, people love her, and she is so involved and connected. She has her heart in this and we are so happy to be supporting her, it’s going to be a great, positive campaign,” he said.
East First Selectman Adam Dunsby said, “She’s an exceptional fiscal conservative, she has a big heart, her interest in animal welfare gives her incredible credit, she would be perfect for Fairfield.”
Currently serving in her fifth term as state representative for Fairfield, Kupchick is a third-generation Fairfield resident and attended both Norwalk Community College and Fairfield University. She and her husband, Peter Kupchick, have owned a small business in Fairfield for more than 30 years and have one son.
“In the age of political discourse that’s filled with divisiveness,” Kupchick said, “I will work to be a uniter instead of a divider. I want to bring together the people of our amazing community, not as Republicans or Democrats, Independents or unaffiliates, but as Fairfielders — listening to each other and working together to lead our town with a fresh voice and respectful dialogue.”
The Fairfield RTC plans to endorse candidates at a caucus scheduled for July 16.