DARIEN — For First Selectman candidate Chris Noe, campaigning for the office is more of a civic duty than it is an actual aspiration for him.
“I don’t need to do this. I’ve got better things to do. But nothing gets done. I see it happening and it just drives me nuts,” Noe said.
This will be the fifth time Noe, 57, will challenge for the office of First Selectman, the first of which came in 2009, and the third time he will challenge incumbent Jayme Stevenson, who he said is not coming out with “forward thinking,” especially in response to what he calls the “bankrupt” state.
“The greatest thing Dan Malloy has done for the State of Connecticut is to say that he will not run again. Jayme Stevenson, what she could do now is not run again. That would be the best thing she could do,” Noe said.
Specifically, Noe wants to see Darien take the future of its schools more into its own hands in light of declining state aid. He is a proponent of implementing a school tax, paid for exclusively by residents with school-age children.
“It’s not going to affect the empty-nesters, it’s not going to affect the businesses. We just want those people in the middle of their prime working years, those are the people having children, we want them to pick up some of the slack,” Noe explained.
He also has been vocal about what he has called a flawed pipe at the Stony Creek pump station that he alleges is leaking millions of gallons of the town’s waste into the Long Island Sound.
Stevenson emphatically refuted Noe’s claims and said all pipes at that pump station had been replaced in the past two years.
Noe grew up wealthy in the Wallack’s Point neighborhood, where his parents had a private beach and a large waterfront home. He attended Plumfield School — now Pear Tree Point School — until third grade and attended King’s School in Stamford through 12th grade.
His mother was a Democrat and his father was a Republican who hunted and carried guns. Noe, who owns a construction company in Darien, is a registered Democrat, but is paradoxically pro-gun, pro-Trump, and thinks the conservative pundit Ann Coulter’s “Adios, America,” should be required reading in schools.
Asked what part of his political ideology lines up with the left, Noe said, “Well, I’ve always been a Democrat.”
Noe forewent college, opting instead to open his business, though at age 22, a shooting at a party landed him in prison for close to three years.
According to Noe, eight months prior to the shooting, he and his girlfriend at the time were assaulted at a bar in Stonington, by a group of three men who were vying for the attention of his girlfriend.
Noe ran into one of those men at a party later that year. According to Noe, the man became aggressive with Noe and charged at him.
“He made a run at me. I was a squeaky clean kid with a handgun and I shot him. I didn’t try to kill him, I just defended myself. I had a .357 magnum, six shot revolver, and I shot him once,” Noe said. The man, shot in the neck, survived. Noe was charged with attempted murder and was incarcerated.
“I went into prison as a child and I came out very grown up,” said Noe, who served his time in several prisons including Osborn Correctional Institution.
It’s a piece of his past that Noe said he’s put behind him and that shouldn’t concern voters. And with several unsuccessful attempts running for First Selectman under his belt, Noe is under no illusions about the probable outcome of the election. Nevertheless, he feels a responsibility to run and will not be discouraged even in defeat.
“I’ll put out ideas on the way we should be going. When it doesn’t happen, I just walk away,” Noe said. “I’ve gone from flying private jets across the country to waking up in prison. What do you do? You survive it.”