Tag Archives: Connecticut General Assembly 136th district

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.

Chip Stephens Announces State Rep Run

Democrat Jonathan Steinberg — the 5-term state representative for District 136, which covers most of Westport — has a Republican challenger.

Chip Stephens — like Steinberg, a Staples High School graduate — says:

It is with great hope and expectations that I announce my candidacy for Westport’s 136th Representative District in the Connecticut State Assembly.

As a 50-year resident of Westport, and elected Planning and Zoning Commissioner for 3 terms, I have been honored to serve and enjoy our town. My campaign is to bring to Hartford a positive message of hope, and a strong need for working together to fix the broken financial state.

My mission is to join a new effort to cooperate and innovate. My experience in local issues is fairly well known, and my advocacy has been built on supporting our great schools and organizations. I have a long record of giving back to my town, and my contributions have touched on many issues, organizations and many residents.

Chip Stephens

I will give Westport my best effort to win and serve in a positive and constructive direction. Issues and answers will lead my campaign, with no tolerance for negativity and name-calling.

Over the next weeks, I will be forming a campaign group and a platform.With both, I will strive to be inclusive of all ages, political views and those who want a better Westport and a smarter working Connecticut.

I want to hear from any and all Westporters who want to join my vision: that all politics are local. The best way to make positive change is to work together for the benefit of the town. Specific granular issues and answers will be discussed as I move forward with my campaign.

I hope this message finds my Westport friends and families well, and seeing the light beyond today’s historic challenging issues. Better days are close, thanks to our healthcare workers and scientists. Stay safe, stay well!

Chip Stephens is serving his 3rd term on Westport’s Planning & Zoning Commission. He has been its chair, and also chaired the Village District Regulation, Superstorm Sandy Recovery Regulation, and other committees.

Stephens moved to Westport in 1960, and graduated from Staples in 1973, He earned an MS in microbiology, and works as a medical sales executive. He has coached Staples wrestling, PAL football, baseball and basketball. In Westport, he has worked for the preservation of Bedford Elementary School (now Town Hall), Cockenoe Island and open space.