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Breakfast Taps Local Support from Top Dems

By James Lomuscio

Underscoring the importance of local politics, the state Democratic Party’s heavy hitters—Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman,  Attorney General George Jepsen and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal—came to Tavern on Main today for a Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) breakfast to root for November’s local elections.

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State Attorney General George Jepsen addresses today’s Westport Democratic Town Committee breakfast as Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who is acting governor while Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is out of state, listens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“It’s so important that we get local politics right,” said Jepsen, noting that years ago he never dreamed his would carry the once Republican towns of Wilton and Weston.

He said that national decisions, such as this week’s U.S. Supreme Court’s defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a boon to the gay community, have their beginnings in Democrats gaining influence on the local stage.

Wyman, whom DTC Chairman Jim Ezzes described as “a friend of Westport for a long, long time,” took the opportunity to thank Democratic First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who is not running for re-election, for his years of service.

Wyman then used the occasion to throw her support to Helen Garten, the party’s unofficial pick for the first selectman’s spot. Garten will not be officially nominated until the DTC’s July convention.

A candidate for second selectman has yet to be chosen, though Garten hinted an announcement will come after July 4.

However, Wyman may have let the cat out the bag, saying she was looking forward to supporting the ticket of Garten and Melissa Kane, a freshman member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) from District 3.

“Helen can work well with other boards,” Wyman said about Garten who is a member of Westport’s Board of Finance and former chairwoman. “Helen is that kind of person.

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Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman was the initial speaker at today’s Democratic Town Committee breakfast at Tavern on Main.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“This is a beautiful town, and we want it to continue to be,” Wyman added. “We want to make sure the success of this town continues to grow. Make sure that when you get elected you continue to grow the town the way it should be.”

Garten later spoke, saying that in uncertain economic times the town needs a pro-active government.

“The government has to be nimble and more responsive,” Garten said. “Development does not have to mean the loss of community character.”

According to Martha Aasen, long time DTC member and its former chairwoman, Blumenthal arrived late, saying he was stuck in traffic on I-95.

In addition to throwing his support to local candidates, he also spoke about DOMA, and said he was pleased that he helped push the immigration billl through the U.S. Senate though it faces an uncertain future in the House, Aasen said.

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