- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—MANCHESTER — Both the Republicans and the Democrats are running a strong mix of incumbents and newcomers for seats on the board of directors and the board of education in November.

During committee meetings Monday night, both parties selected four incumbents and two newcomers for seats on the board of directors. They also selected a mix of incumbents and newcomers to run for the board of education.

Democrats, who met at the Manchester Country Club, selected incumbent Mayor Jay Moran along with fellow board members Margaret Hackett, Rudy Kissmann and Steve Gates. Newcomers Tim Bergin and Sarah Jones will join them on the ticket. Democrats hold a 5-4 majority on the board.

“We are excited,” Moran said. “We’ve worked well together and have made progress. We’ve done a lot of listening and leading.”

Republicans, who met at the VFW post, are hoping to regain control of the board and continue the momentum from two years ago when they picked up a seat. Incumbent Republican directors — Minority Leader Cheri Eckbreth, Deputy Mayor Tim Devanney, Patrick Greene and Matt Galligan — were all endorsed. Newcomers Kyle Donovan, 21, a recent Eastern Connecticut State University graduate, and Kimberly Thomas were also endorsed.

“We have a good list of candidates,” Republican town committee Chairman John Deeb said. “We are going to take the majority this year. Everyone needs to work together.”

“We work well together,” Devanney said. “We have a team full of results.”

For board of directors, voters will choose six of 12 candidates and the top nine vote-getters are elected. The top vote-getter becomes mayor.

For the school board, which has staggered terms, the ballot will have two brackets — for 2015-18 and 2016-19 terms — with four candidates running for each term. Voters choose any two candidates from each bracket and the top three vote-getters on each are elected.

Republicans running for the 2015-2018 seat include newcomer Raju Gomes and incumbent Susan Jacobsen. Peter Conyers and Deborah Hagenow will run for the 2016-19 seats. Incumbent Neal Leon and Melanie Stefanovicz will run for the 2015-18 seats. Incumbent Democratic school board Chairman Christopher Pattacini and Norm DeLaura will run for the 2016 seats.

Incumbent school board member Michael Crockett, who switched from Republican to unaffiliated voter in 2013, was not endorsed by either party. He has not decided whether to make an independent run for re-election. Crockett’s term expires in November. He has been a board member since 2005.

Incumbent school board members whose three-year terms end in 2017 — Republican Mary Jane Pazda and Democrats Darryl Thames and Jason Scappaticci — will not be on this year’s ballot.

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(c)2015 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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