Litchfield will have a new first selectman in November after the 16-year run of Leo Paul Jr. ends.
Paul on Wednesday announced that he will not pursue a ninth two-year term in the Nov. 5 municipal election. A desire to do something different led to his decision not to run, according to Paul.
"I’ve come to a point where I have to look at other opportunities," Paul said. "It’s time to turn it over to someone else, and I’m excited about that. Maybe that new person will take the town in a different direction, or maybe they’ll keep us on the same course."
With Paul deciding to step down, the Republican Party will have to come up with a candidate for first selectman at its caucus on July 23. A candidate will be presented, according to Republican Town Committee Chairman William Burgess.
The GOP will also have to nominate at least one candidate for selectman now that Paul Parsons has decided not to seek a sixth term. Jon Torrant, the second Republican selectman, said he’s still weighing whether or not to seek a fifth term.
The Democratic Party, meanwhile, is poised to nominate Village Restaurant co-owner Denise Raap as its first selectman candidate.
Paul said the decision not to pursue a new term involved much thought and was difficult, but was one that will allow him to spend more time with his family and develop his voice-over commercial business.
He thanked the residents who have supported him over the years and town employees for their hard work.
"I’ve put my heart and soul into representing the town," Paul said. "I think we’ve gotten a lot of good things done and have put the town in a good position to move forward."