4 candidates battling in Middletown Primary for Mayor


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Middletown, a city of 46,000, is witnessing a four way Democratic Primary because the current Mayor Dan Drew is calling it quits.

Last month, the Democratic town committee endorsed City Council Deputy Majority Leader Mary Bartolotta by the narrowest of margins. The 47-year-old full time mom says she’s the most qualified, having overseen 8 city budgets adding, “I worked fiscally to be responsible to make sure that we are putting forward a budget that our residents can live with.”

27-year-old Ben Florsheim lost the town committee endorsement to Bartolotta by one vote. Since he graduated Wesleyan five years ago, he has been a community outreach worker for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and says, “spent a lot of time while I was working for Chris thinking about whether running for office was something I wanted to do myself or, if I could make more of a difference behind the scenes.”

45-year-old Geen Thazhampallath has been director of the Middletown Parking Authority for the past eight years. A life long Middletown resident, he also spent time in municipal government in Stratford and worked in the private sector at Aetna, adding, “I have three kids in the school system. I’m a product of the school system. It’s a really unique roll that I’m playing. I think I have a unique story that qualifies me to be mayor.”

59-year-old Bill Russo did not compete for the town committee endorsement, preferring to just go the petition route. Born and raised here, he has spent 35 years in the city Public Works Department rising to director and notes, “the building division is under me in Public Works and many, many projects you see in town, Fedx, on and on, they start right at the table in Public Works.”

Republicans in Middletown are just waiting to see who survives the Democratic Primary. Their nominee is former Mayor Sebastian Giuliano.

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