Stevenson set to run for first selectman position
Updated 4:22 pm, Thursday, May 12, 2011
After announcing plans in December to run for a second term, First Selectman David Campbell announced this week that he will not seek reelection.
Republican Selectman Jayme Stevenson said she will run for the position of first selectman and Campbell will run for a position as a selectman.
Campbell said when the Republicans made their original announcement last year, he did not anticipate his desire to return to Ring's End.
The decision to not run for a second term was first discussed with Republican Town Committee Chairman Harry Artinian so the party would have time to prepare, Stevenson said. Should she be elected, Stevenson said her term would not differ much from Campbell.
In a statement read over the phone, Artinian said it's a testament to the leadership of Campbell, Stevenson and Nielsen that they are able to adjust their roles when personal circumstances warrant a change.
"Dave, Jerry and Jayme continue to be strong candidates," Artinian said. He also expressed gratitude that the RTC was filled in on Campbell's decision to not run for a second term.
In a statement emailed to RTC members, Campbell discussed the decision to not run for first selectman while reassuring members he would continue his involvement in the town government.
"Today we decided that Jayme will be asking for your support to be Darien's next first selectman," the statement said. "Jerry and I will be asking for your support as selectmen. We have enjoyed working for the people of Darien for the past 18 months. With your help we look forward to serving Darien for two additional years."
"The important thing is that we remain a team," she said.
In an interview last week, Campbell expressed concerns with being away from Ring's End, his family business, for an additional two years.
"I'm trying to decide what to do. I'll either run for first selectman or as a selectman," Campbell told the Darien News. "The issue is with the family business [Ring's End] because I'm not sure I can afford to stay away for another two years."
Campbell hinted that Stevenson would be the one most likely to make a bid for the selection because she would not be distracted by a business.
"She has been very engaged in what is going on around town and is the obvious choice of the three," he said.
Stevenson told the Darien News in an interview last week that she enjoyed serving the town and would put serious consideration into running for first selectman.
Chairman of the Democratic Town Committee John Davis did not release the names of any potential challengers for the first selectman position but did say the committee would be interviewing candidates until July when the party caucuses.
"We've been looking for candidates since January, but we haven't made any final decisions yet," Davis said.