Paulmeno officially throws hat in the ring for first selectman

After weeks of deliberation, Stephanie Paulmeno has announced her run for Greenwich’s top elected office in an email to the town’s Democratic Town Committee (DTC) on Monday and she is expected to follow that up with a press conference within the next week.

At that time she says she will outline the themes of her candidacy and build upon that throughout the campaign, starting at the DTC’s kick off picnic on Sept. 8.

This announcement comes after, at first, Greenwich Democrats seemed like they had no candidate to challenge incumbent Republican First Selectman Peter Tesei and then looked like they had too many. Ms. Paulmeno initially put her name forward in July at the DTC’s nominating caucus, standing as a placeholder candidate until Sept. 1 to give the party more time to find a permanent candidate and preventing someone from outside the party being able to petition their way onto the ballot as the Democratic candidate.

Ms. Paulmeno insisted at the time this was only meant to be a temporary solution to the party’s difficulty in finding someone to run against Mr. Tesei, who is coming off three landlslide victories in 2007, 2009 and 2011, but after that meeting she said she began receiving encouragement to run and began thinking more seriously about a real candidacy. Another potential Democratic candidate with experience in town government came forward in that time frame, but on Tuesday Ms. Paulmeno told the Post that she believed she was the best one who could represent the party in the fall election.

“I had no intention of running when we started this process,” Ms. Paulmeno said. “But when no one else would come forward I didn’t feel our top spot should be vacant. Since then I have received so much encouragement and support from both parties. I said I would step aside if there was a better candidate who could do more to support our party and our party’s values. I don’t believe there was anyone who brought more as a candidate than I feel I do.”

A registered nurse and health care administrator, Ms. Paulmeno has worked for the town as both the director of nursing and administrator of record for The Nathaniel Witherell and also as director of community health planning for the Department of Health. She has also served on the Representative Town Meeting and on town boards like the Commission on Aging. Since 2009, she has been a small business owner in town, operating a health care consulting business in Old Greenwich called Global Health Systems Consultants.

And while it seemed for some time as though Mr. Tesei might be unopposed for a new term, Republican Town Committee Chairman Jim Campbell said this will not change the party’s strategy going into the fall.

“Peter Tesei has done a great job,” Mr. Campbell said. “I welcome Greenwich voters having a choice and I’m confident they’ll choose to have two more years of Peter Tesei as first selectman.”

Additional coverage will appear in the Aug. 15 edition of the Post and online here at Greenwich-post.com.

 

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