Melissa Kane Enters 1st Selectman Race

Jim Marpe has an opponent.

This afternoon, Melissa Kane announced her candidacy for 1st selectman of Westport. The Democratic activist opposes the Republican incumbent.

Kane currently serves as chair of the Westport Democratic Committee, and is a member of the non-partisan RTM from District 3. She is also co-chair of the Downtown Implementation Committee (appointed by Marpe).

Previously, as chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, she helped create a new Downtown Master Plan.

Melissa Kane

Kane recently received the Democratic Women of Westport’s first scholarship to the Yale Campaign School for Women.

She has been a Westport Library trustee, a board member of the Green Village Initiative and A Child’s Place, and active with Earthplace, the Westport Arts Center and PTA.

After moving to Westport in 2003, Kane launched and ran a floral design company, MKK Designs. She began her career as a columnist for Hearst New Media’s online publications, before becoming a publicist in the recording industry.

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in international relations, she is married to Jonathan Kane.  Their children are George (18) and Lily (14).

In her announcement, Kane said:

First, I’ve loved Westport since I was a little girl. I spent my summers at Beach School and fishing in the currents off the bridges at the Mill Pond. Today, I love this town for all that it offers, and for its extraordinarily active community involvement.

Westport’s inclusive values, the importance of community, the integrity and beauty of our open spaces and beaches, and the quality of our schools, led my husband and me to choose to raise our family here.

Second, I have a vision for our infrastructure, public safety and economic sustainability that is critical to our future. We can do much more to protect the fiscal strength of our schools and to enhance our home values, to attract future generations, and support local businesses. As your first selectman, I will have a clearly articulated economic development plan. Times require more than just hoping to come in on budget each year without clear priorities.

At the women’s march on Washington the day after President Trump’s inauguration, Senator Richard Blumenthal posed with Connecticut protesters. Among the crowd was one of the state organizers, Melissa Kane.

Third, every Westporter deserves to have a leader who is willing to stand up for our most important priorities and values.

If you are concerned about maintaining excellence in our schools, know that I will advocate forcefully and effectively to make sure our schools are fully funded.

If you are a senior or have aging parents, know that I will work proactively with our P&Z officials and developers to make sure seniors have access to affordable, centrally located housing, or that they have the tax relief and support they need to be able to age in place.

If you are a commuter, know that I will work to make sure our traffic issues are finally addressed. I will improve mobility throughout town by working more collaboratively with DOT and the Citizens Transportation Commission on innovative solutions, and I will commit to investing in multi modal public transportation options as alternate ways to get around town.

If you are concerned about public safety, know that I will work with our local, state and national officials on responsible gun protection measures, and I will always stand up to hate in any form.

In this election we have an exciting opportunity to move Westport forward and to ensure that our town’s leaders represent the values we believe in.


18 responses to “Melissa Kane Enters 1st Selectman Race

  1. Joanne Lupton

    Melissa, Great statement. As a former Westporter (Staples, ’62) and a Mt. Holyoke grad (66′ along with three other Staples graduates) I’d vote for you!

  2. Melissa Shein

    This is truly exciting news for Westport. Thank you Melissa Kane for running for office.

  3. Rozanne Gates

    Congratulations, Melissa. I hope every Democrat supports you. I hope every Independent/Unaffiliated person supports you, and hoping perhaps beyond hope, that every Republican will support you (that may be a little bit too much to hope for). It is simply important to support every Democratic candidate for every position in every race in the entire country. Every race is winnable and in order to return sanity to the governing bodies of this country, Democratic candidates must prevail.

  4. Morley Boyd

    The principle architect of the downtown traffic mess intends to address traffic issues in Saugatuck?

  5. Jamie Walsh

    Speaking as an Independent, I do not see that Ms. Kane is distinguishing herself in anyway from First Selectman Marpes agenda and he has proven himself as a successful leader. Why try to fix something that isn’t broken?

  6. Richard Lowenstein

    That’ s a rather unprincipaled statement! 🙂

    • Jamie Walsh

      Dick, I think you know me well enough to know that “unprincipled” is not a word people would use to describe me.😉

      • Dick Lowenstein

        My reply was not intended for you, Jamie, but to the comment immediately before yours. My error.

        • Thanks for the correction, Dick. Quite clever.

          Speaking of the perils of auto correct, whenever I spell your name it switches it to “Arthur Aitchess”.

          Just like that.


        • Jack Whittle

          Happens on my system too – must be some kind of [wholly-unprincipled] bug . . .

  7. Thomas Doyle

    In local town elections political parties mean very little but it is the person who makes the difference. Jim Marpe has done an outstanding job with the town since his election. I cannot fathom why anyone who looks at the accomplishments thusfar would even think of voting for another candidate irrespective of their party affiliation.

    • Tom – great point. It is the leader themselves who make the difference and Jim has demonstrated he is one of the best.

  8. Jim Marpe has done a wonderful job as first selectman. Tax increase have slowed their rise, Westport recovered from the recession, schools are doing very well, and the town is moving forward with improvements at a nice pace and is able to find ways to do so without negatively impacting tax payers. Westport is currently a bright spot in an otherwise dismal state of affairs in Connecticut.

    We need more of Jim Marpe’s style of leadership and that of Jen Tooker to guide us through these difficult times. The last thing we need is for the bankrupt Hartford policies and those of our Governor and US Senators to negatively affect our community.

    I would ask anyone aspiring to replace great leadership to better articulate the details of their plans and why they are better. It’s not enough to just say “I will work harder for you or I will fight for this and that”. Spell out the specifics – what changes will you make, how will you pay for them, and what success models are you building from? Also, what demonstrated success have you had in the past which can build confidence in the plans for the future.