Orange Republicans at a July 22 caucus unanimously endorsed Orange First Selectman Jim Zeoli for another term.
In addition to Zeoli as their top candidate, Republicans confirmed a full slate of candidates for municipal offices and two boards of education in the upcoming municipal elections Tuesday, Nov. 3. Town Committee Vice Chairman Craig Stahl chaired the event.
The lineup includes many familiar faces, particularly for the Board of Selectmen, with Ralph Okenquist, Judy Wright Williams and John Carangelo, all incumbents who are seeking re-election.
However, there also are a number of new names, namely Robert Bocek for the Board of Finance, Ken Gambardella for Planning and Zoning, and John Belfonti for the Amity Board of Education. For the Orange Board of Education, they are proposing two new names, Ken Ziman and Chantelle Ewen Bunnell to join incumbent chairman Bill Kraut. Glen Papelo is a candidate for constable.
“We’re always trying to attract new volunteers, said Republican Town Committee Chairman Nancy Nastri.
With the 2015 campaign Zeoli is seeking his sixth term. Zeoli was first elected to the post after defeating democrat Mitch Goldblatt, the only incumbent to ever lose a re-election bid in the town’s history in 2005. Zeoli thanked his fellow Republicans for their support. “I am honored that they place their confidence in me and work with me,” he said after the caucus.
Zeoli pledged to continue his work for the good of the town, including infrastructure improvements and projects for all age groups, from children to senior citizens. He said he is looking forward to working with the new superintendents both for Orange schools and the Amity school system. “I feel we’re in a really good place right now,” he said.
The Democratic Party headed by Town Chairperson Trish Pearson was scheduled to hold their nomination Caucus after press deadline. In addition, The “Independents for Orange” Party which has qualified for this year’s municipal ballot during the previous election cycle has not as yet presented their slate for the fall election. Their Party Chairman, Michael Richetelli could not be reached for comment.
Following is the slate of Republican candidates:
Board of Selectmen
Board of Finance
Town Plan & Zoning Commission
Orange Board of Education
Amity Board of Education
Tracy Lane Russo
John C. Belfonti
By Bettina Thiel – Orange Town News Correspondent