Sarelli Challenges Steinberg For State Rep Seat

For a while, it looked like Democrat Jonathan Steinberg would have no opposition in his bid for a 7th term as Westport’s state representative from the 136th District. Republican Tom Lasersohn withdrew in August.

Today, Alma Sarelli announced her campaign for the seat. The press release did not identify her as a Republican, but “that was a mistake,” says spokesman Joseph Sledge.

Alma Sarelli

Sarelli — a native of Albania with a degree in business management — moved to Westport 6 years ago. She  ran as a write-in candidate last November for the Board of Education. She received 565 votes, behind the 4 candidates officially on the ballot.

Sarelli and her husband Nick run a national event entertainment production company. They have 4 children: 2 in college, and 2 at Staples High School.

Sarelli currently serves as president of Newcomers & Neighbors of Westport.

Her press release says:

“As an immigrant, a working mother of 4 children, a business owner and for better, not worse, a political novice. I am running for state representative because I want to return the focus to the basic priorities all of us share.

“I want to keep taxes down so Connecticut can compete as an attractive destination for businesses and hard working families. Education is an absolutely top priority: we need schools that focus above all on learning and achievement. We want schools truly to celebrate and respect the individuality and uniqueness of all of our children, regardless of their background or appearance — not be training camps for ideological activists.

“We also need sensible, fair and effective law enforcement that doesn’t compromise the safety of our families, particularly those in higher crime areas, to the false narratives of a few.

“Connecticut is a state with an incredible diversity of strengths. Instead of living up to our potential, we are being held back by the same policies and mismanagement bringing down so many other similarly governed states. These states are watching their populations decline, lawlessness surge and their families lose faith in public education. It doesn’t have to be this way,
but the only way to reverse it is by voting in new leadership.

“If you agree with these priorities and want to help steer Connecticut towards a different path, please support me in November. There is a widening gap between what Connecticut families actually want and what Hartford is delivering. It is time to change course.

“I stand for great schools, safe streets, responsive government and lower taxes. How will I achieve these goals? I am going to try something different. Rather than represent Connecticut’s special interests like public sector unions, state contractors and political party bosses, I am going to represent the people of Westport. I seek the support of all Westport residents. With your support
and your vote on November 8th, I will be a fierce advocate for Westport in Hartford. I will listen to your voices and ideas so we can keep Westport excellent.

“My business experience and leadership will be assets to help us build on our successes. I will also be a voice for Westporters and address the major concerns we are all experiencing.”

Click here for Sarelli’s website.

30 responses to “Sarelli Challenges Steinberg For State Rep Seat

  1. Her explanation of what she stands for is exactly what will get me to the polls in November to vote for her opponent!!

  2. Thanks for posting. Now I’ll contribute to Steinberg‘s campaign

  3. Russell Gontar

    I’d like to hear the the candidate explain what she is taking about when she states “We want schools truly to celebrate and respect the individuality and uniqueness of all of our children, regardless of their background or appearance — not be training camps for ideological activists”. Training camps? Ideological activists? Please decode.

    • Gordon Shumway

      what in the world could she possibly be talking about???

    • She means ban certain books (that she has not read); monitor teachers’ lessons; ban mention of gay or transgender choices and make certain the disaster of slavery and oppression not be part of any curriculum.
      She, as are all Trump Republicans (and you can bet your ass she voted for Trump and is a “denier”) is a menace to decent, democratic society.

  4. Clark Thiemann

    This release includes almost every dog whistle of right wing culture wars wedged into 7 paragraphs. Impressive!

    • Lauren MacNeill

      Dena, (no last name?), Clark was not exaggerating…it was almost an entirely negative and conspiracy ridden statement. Training camps and ideological activists, false narratives about high crime areas and our state in ruins. She’s describing a reality that only the few of you see. When you have to be so negative in your opening statement it says a lot.

      • Lauren- you crack me up. She lacks the optimism of the Democrat party? Semi-fascists in every other house? The end of the world in 12 years? Systemic racism pervading every nook and cranny of American life? She is the challenger and calling out our problems- pointing to a better way. The Biden Dems are literally apocalyptic.

    • elinalublinsky

      How so?
      Thanks in advance for responding

  5. This is a painful reminder that we need to be on guard at all levels of government, even in Westport.

  6. Stephanie Bass


  7. Will she be answering questions from voters in public? Can’t wait to hear her deeply considered, nuanced views on issues.

    • I’d have asked the same question of a man. So early in the campaign to go all snowflake on us, “Bea.” Will she answer questions? It’s a simple question. Her, um, website is blank.

  8. Speak for yourself. Don’t include all of Westport in your misguided comments. Good luck!

  9. The unions are gonna have a field day with her. Many young Young people go to large cities like NY, Boston and the like, certainly not because it’s less expensive.

  10. I don’t why there is a link to her website, it is still under construction? However, from the blog post, my initial impression is honesty. Refreshing. Most politicians these days sound like they are lying. I have been reading a book called Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. Fascinating stuff, once you read it you can spot lies. She doesn’t appear to be lying.

  11. I have had to remove numerous comments — not because of content, but because commenters did not include full, real names.

    The rules for commenting are clear: All commenters must use full, real names, and provide a verifiable email address. Please play by the rules. If you have something to say, stand behind it with your full name. Thank you.

  12. Dermot Meuchner

    We need Harold Stassen more than ever.

  13. Low taxes and effective law enforcement? Schools that focus on learning not political activism? My ears are ringing with all these white nationalist dog whistles!! Has anyone alerted the FBI? Our democracy is under siege by local moms! What’s next? Efficient accountable government? What has Westport come to?? This is just too much. Time to head over to Front Porch to get recs for a good therapist to help me through this trauma.

  14. OMG, this woman is poison!

    • Hi Marni– Which of these Republican positions should I be respectfully disagreeing with?

      (1) Support for insurrections in their attacks on Federal Police?
      (2) The dissolution of gay marriage?
      (3) Government mandated pregnancy?
      (4) Advocacy for the theft of national secrets?

      Just let me know how respectful I should be as I disagree with these Republican positions… As respectful as the typical Republican whose called me a “Libtard” and “Leftist”?

      • 1. Nothing false about it. Many of the 1/6 insurrectionists violently attempted to stop the counting of the electoral votes, attacked police, destroyed property, sought to hang the Vice President, defecated in the capitol and flew the confederate flag were indeed heavily armed as the secret service had warned the Trump team. They were being blocked by the magnetometers and Trump insisted that they be let through.
        2. Clarence Thomas has already stated he intends to overturn gay marriage.
        3. Forcing children to give birth is indeed government mandated pregnancy and child abuse.
        4. Every single piece of paper Trump removed from the White House was theft. All of those items, top secret or otherwise belong to the American people and are maintained by the national archives. Their illegal removal was a crime.

        Sorry to burst your Fox News bubble.

        • I’m sure your false statements will be of great comfort to those already convicted or indicted with bringing firearms to the capitol:

          And do tell us all how the events on 1/6 were not an attempt to violently stop an official government proceeding. What was it then, a tour? Lol.

          Pro forced birth aficionados are neither “prolife” or pro children. Never seen them protest capital punishment and forcing child rape victims to give birth is just barbaric. And yes, for period of time, a pregnancy is indeed just a clump of cells. You’re entitled to think otherwise but you’re not entitled to force you view on other people.

          Regarding the documents, next time I rob a bank and they find the money in my home I’ll just say I was storing here instead of the bank. I’ll be sure to tell them that Marnie said it’s ok.

          By the way, who won the 2020 election?

    • John D McCarthy

      Dena, How do you do it? Live in Westport your whole life, be a registered voter (as a Democrat!) in Westport and not have a single online reference that links you to Westport? Do you use a different name? Very impressive.

    • Inflation, a worldwide problem, has steadily been coming down over the past few months. Gasoline, in case you haven’t gotten out of the house recently, has come down from over $5/gallon to about $3.75. That’s just a fact. Unemployment is down to a historic low. There are plenty of jobs. Sorry you believe that telling our children the truth in school is “indoctrination”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

  15. If you have any of Mother Teresa’s DNA, that combined with your excellent position paper makes you an outstanding candidate for office. You have my vote. Thank you

  16. I have removed 5 comments by “Marni Mearsheimer.” I asked for proof that that was her full, real name, and my email to her bounced back.

    I also removed 10 other comments. One women originally posted as “Dena.” I removed her comments, and asked for her full, real name. She posted as “Dena Roberts.” When no one from that name could be found, she said that was her maiden name.

    Both women claimed to be Westporters.

    I am extremely disappointed in the abuse of the Comments section by those 2 readers. If you have an opinion, you are free to voice it. But “06880” rules are that you must use full, real names, to stand behind your opinions.

    This thread is closed to further comments.