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Familiar Faces: Wilton Democrats Endorse Candidates For Fall Election

Deborah McFadden
Deborah McFadden Photo Credit: Contributed
Deborah Low
Deborah Low Photo Credit: Contributed
Gretchen Jeanes:
Gretchen Jeanes: Photo Credit: Contributed
Richard Creeth
Richard Creeth Photo Credit: Contributed
Doris Knapp
Doris Knapp Photo Credit: Contributed
Eric Fanwick
Eric Fanwick Photo Credit: Contributed
Bas Nabulsi
Bas Nabulsi Photo Credit: Contributed
Tom Gunther
Tom Gunther Photo Credit: Contributed
Jaclyn Coleman
Jaclyn Coleman Photo Credit: Contributed
Bo Mitchell
Bo Mitchell Photo Credit: Contributed
Ernest Ricco
Ernest Ricco Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. — The slate of candidates endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee in Wilton includes some familiar faces.

The committee approved the slate at its caucus Wednesday night.

“I am excited about the high caliber of our candidates being put forward by our caucus. They will serve Wilton well,” said Deb McFadden, the Wilton DTC chairwoman who will be running for Board of Selectmen.

“It is in the best interest of Wilton that there be Democrats represented on all boards and commissions for balance,” said Tom Dubin, DTC Vice-chair and Chair of Wednesday night’s caucus. “This strong line-up more than fulfills that goal.”

Here are the Democratic candidates:

Deborah McFadden, Board of Selectmen : McFadden, DTC chair for the past two years, is a former selectman who ran unsuccessfully for first selectman in 2015. She has been involved in the Wilton community for 20 years, including several terms as town constable. She has served on the boards of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, the Wilton Security Council and Trackside Teen Center. Before moving here, she served as an executive in the Mayor’s Office of Salt Lake City. She is a former member of the Electoral College.

Deborah Low, Board of Education: Low worked in the Wilton Public Schools from 1987 to 2007, serving as principal of Wilton High School from 1998 to 2004 and assistant superintendent of schools from 2004 to 2007. In 2007, she left to become Ridgefield Superintendent of Schools, serving from 2007 to 2015. In Ridgefield she championed such initiatives as full-day kindergarten, improved math and reading instruction, and greater attention to students’ social and emotional needs. She increased high school instructional hours and improved community and parental outreach. For two years she has served on the town Social Services Commission. She is the parent two Wilton school graduates and has lived in town for 20 years.

Gretchen Jeanes, Board of Education: Jeanes is a consultant with Bright Power, a New York energy management company, where she manages residential New York State Energy and Development projects. She was formerly a senior analyst and manager with American Express. She is also a sales agent with William Raveis in Wilton. She serves on the executive committee of the Cider Mill PTA and has held similar positions with the Miller-Driscoll PTA and was a member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee. She is a member of the Junior League and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has two children in the Wilton schools.

Richard Creeth, Board of Finance: A current member of the board, Creeth is a former four-term selectman, chair of the DTC, and longtime advocate of energy efficiency who was instrumental in the formation of the Wilton Energy Commission. He is a former member of the Tri-board, comprising members of the BOS, BOE and BOF. As a member of the BOF he has devised and helped to institute financial tools that more precisely determine the effect of proposed expenditures on the mill rate.

Doris Knapp, Planning and Zoning Commission (4-year term): Knapp, who has served on the commission for 10 years and is currently its secretary, has lived in Wilton for 45 years. She is an attorney specializing in family and juvenile practice, having represented children and parents in child protection, abuse and neglect matters.

Eric Fanwick, Planning and Zoning Commission (4-year term): Fanwick, who previously served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for five years, has served on the Water Pollution Control Authority for seven years. He is a senior systems analyst for OrthoNet, a leading health care management company headquartered in White Plains, and formerly ran his own technology consulting company. He has lived in Wilton for 18 years.

Bas Nabulsi, Planning and Zoning Commission (2-year term): A former three-term member of the commission, Nabulsi was a member of the commission when it developed its current Plan of Conservation and Development. He is a partner in the Stamford law firm, McCarter & English, and specializes in intellectual property law. He has also served on the boards of the World Affairs Forum and the Women’s Business Development Council. He has lived in Wilton for 35 years.

Tom Gunther, Zoning Board of Appeals: Gunther, with 20 years as a banker in New York City, entered the technology field in 1997, and now represents a company in the networking and cloud pace. He has lived in Wilton since 2007. Before that, he served for 12 years on the Mamaroneck, N.Y., Zoning Board of Appeals, 10 as its chairman. Gunther is an active member of Wilton CERT.

Jaclyn Coleman, Zoning Board of Appeals alternate: Coleman is a real estate attorney and managing member of Jaclyn S. Coleman PLC., a New York firm representing both sellers and purchasers in residential transactions in the five boroughs, Westchester County, and Long Island. She is also experienced in commercial real estate sales and acquisitions. She has lived in Wilton for four years.

Bo Mitchell, Constable: Mitchell was Police Commissioner of Wilton for 16 years, retiring in February 2001 to found 911 Consulting, which creates emergency management, crisis communication and disaster recovery plans for corporate clients, including many Fortune 500 companies nationally. As Police Commissioner, he wrote the department’s strategic plan and reorganized the department, expanding the force from 36 to 44. He has lived in Wilton since 1970.

Ernest Ricco, Constable: Ricco, owner of Ricco Enterprises, a construction and property management firm, has been the chairman of the Wilton Democratic Platform committee since 1999 and is responsible for the “Listen to Wilton” platform adopted this month. He is a member of the Connecticut State Platform Committee and has been a delegate to Democratic state and national conventions since 2000. He is a 20-year coach at the high school and collegiate level, presently secondary coordinator for the 2017 Staples High School football team. Before moving to Wilton in 1994, Ricco held numerous government posts, including Town Councilman, in Stratford. He and his wife Brenda have six children, all of whom have attended Wilton schools.

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