Sunday, July 21, 2024

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Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District Hasn’t Had a Democrat in 35 Years

If Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell defeats incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays and is elected to Congress today, she would become the first Democrat elected from the district in 35 years.ct4thcd260.jpg
Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District (yellow) stretches from Greenwich to Oxford. Contributed graphic

The last Democrat elected to Congress from Connecticuts 4th District was Donald J. Irwin, who served from 1965 to 1969. He later went on to become mayor of Norwalk. Leroy D. Downs, another Norwalk Democrat, served from 1941 to 1943.

Farrell would also become the third Westporter to represent the 4th District since the start of the 20th century.

The others were Stewart B. McKinney, who served in Congress from 1971 to 1987 Җ and whom Shays succeeded and John Davis Lodge, who served from 1947 to 1951 before becoming governor in 1951. Both McKinney and Lodge were Republicans.

Westport Charter: Special Election Necessary to Fill Vacant First Selectman Post

If Democratic Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell should defy the odds and get elected today to Congress, she would leave a vacancy in town government that would have to be filled by a special election.
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Carl Leaman: He’d run in special election. WN photo

Under Section 38-3 of the Town Charter, “If the office of First Selectman becomes vacant, the Board of Selectmen shall forthwith convene a special election to fill the vacancy.”

It adds, “Until a successor has been elected and qualified, the remaining Selectmen and the Finance Director, acting as a board, shall exercise the powers and duties of the First Selectman and the Board of Selectmen.”

Farrell’s term expires November 2005. Her running mate, Selectman Carl Leaman, who works only part-time for the town, has said he would be willing to run in a special election but has no interest in a full four-year term.

“I’ll be 64 this year and have no intention of working as First Selectman when I’m 68 or older,” he told WestportNow in January. (See WestportNow Jan. 7, 2004)

Farrell Visits Norwalk HQ with Paul Newman

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Democratic Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell points out something to fellow Westporter Paul Newman today at Farrell’s Norwalk headquarters where they met the press and greeted campaign workers. The 79-year-old actor said the 2004 election is “the most important election of my lifetime.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Shays and Farrell Campaign Hard in Final Hours; Paul Newman Backs Farrell

The tight race between incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays and Democratic challenger Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell saw both candidates campaigning hard today in the final hours before Election Day.farrellnewman11010401260.jpg
Paul Newman appears with Diane Farrell at a Norwalk news conference today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Farrell held a late afternoon news conference in Norwalk with fellow Westporter Paul Newman. The 5 p.m. event was originally billed as a rally but turned into a news conference and photo opportunity.

Newman said he did not trust those in charge in Washington and that Congress needs new people such as Farrell.

“We need to move people in to rethink the idea of deficit fiscal responsibility,” he said. “She’s already balanced a budget (in Westport). She’ll have a bigger budget to balance in Washington.”

New Yorker: “Man in Gray Flannel Suit” Set in Westport Dated After 50 Years

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Man in the Gray Flannel Suit: novel set in Westport is turning 50. File photo
This week’s The New Yorker takes a look at Sloan Wilson’s 1955 novel “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, ” which was set in Westport, and finds while it strikes seemingly contemporary themes, it is “utterly dated.”

Writer Malcolm Gladwell analyzes the novel that had Westport much talked about in the post-war years in his “Annals of Psychology” column entitled “Getting Over it: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit put the war behind him. Why cant we?”

Gladwell recalls that the novel is about a public-relations specialist who lives in Westport, works for a media company in midtown, and worries about money, job security, and educating his children.

“It was an enormous best-seller. Gregory Peck played Tom Rath in the Hollywood version, and today, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the bookҒs publication, many of the themes the novel addresses seem strikingly contemporary,” he says.