WILTON, Conn. -- Deborah McFadden received a boost in her campaign for first selectman as the Wilton Democratic Town Committee endorsed her Tuesday as its candidate for this November's election.
McFadden announced in late June that she would seek to become the first Democrat in 10 years to run for the top position in town. Wilton nearly always - with a couple of prominent exceptions - elects Republicans in local, state and national elections.
"I recognize I am the underdog in this. I am a Democrat in a Republican town," she said in an interview.
McFadden is a member of the five-member Wilton Board of Selectmen. She was appointed to that position in January when Ted Hoffstatter resigned from the board.
"It is very rewarding," she said working on the Board of Selectmen. "I feel like I am doing something meaningful and making a difference."
McFadden, who is also Democratic Town Committee vice chairman, said she hadn't thought of running for first selectman. But she said she was approached by many people who urged her to think about it.
Although she received the endorsement Tuesday, Wilton Democrats won't officially select their candidate until July 22.
It will be an unusual local election year in Wilton as popular Republican First Selectman Bill Brennan decided not to run for re-election after 10 years on the job. Republicans have not yet chosen a candidate for the fall election.
McFadden said that she will be doing a "listening tour" to hear the concerns of Wilton residents.
She said she has a deep appreciation and understanding of the town.
"I have been a very active citizen while living here in Wilton," she said. "I have been in the community and worked side by side other residents and heard what they said."
On the personal side, McFadden met her husband, Jack, on a blind date 21 years ago when she was working in Washington, D.C. Within four-and-a-half months, they were married.
Their children are Andrew, Rebecca, and Joey, who is a junior at Wilton High School. Their daughter, Melissa, died from leukemia in 1999.
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