Village Restaurant co-owner Denise Raap announces her plan to run for first selectman on Tuesday. BZ photos
Village Restaurant co-owner Denise Raap is poised to launch a bid to become Litchfield’s first Democratic first selectman in 28 years.
Raap on Tuesday announced her plan to run for the town’s top elected position. She unveiled her candidacy during a gathering of family, friends and associates at the Mockingbird Kitchen and Bar in Bantam.
But first, Raap will have to secure the nomination to run when the Democratic Party holds its caucus July 23. The nomination, however, is expected and would pair Raap with Selectmen Anne C. Dranginis and Jeffrey Zullo as running mates.
Raap serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission and has been an owner of the Village Restaurant for 20 years. She and her husband, Greg, have twin daughters, Emily and Stacey, both graduates of Litchfield High School.
The time has come, Raap told the crowd, for her to do more for the town that has been good to her and her family.
“Without a doubt, Litchfield has provided me with so much that I feel so strongly today it is time for me to do something significant for Litchfield,” Raap said. “To give back not only as a Democrat but as a person who wants our town to be the best it can be.”
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz was on hand to endorse Raap as was former Selectman Audrey Blondin, a member of the Democratic State Central Committee. Both said Raap has much to offer because she knows the town well and has experience in business.
“Looking around this room and seeing not only Democrats but also Republicans and unaffiliated voters, it shows that people know Denise is a person they can trust and has a vision for the town,” Bysiewicz said.
Litchfield, Raap said, is at an important juncture, a town ready for new ideas and initiatives that would improve its sense of community and the vitality of its government. Her experience being in town, she said, has given her an idea of what needs attention.
Her plan, she said, is to improve fiscal management by reducing wasteful spending, reducing the amount of money the town borrows annually, and seeking more state grants to help offset costs. Addressing concerns about infrastructure, including town buildings and roads, would be a priority, she said, as would be increasing Town Hall’s engagement with the community.
She promised to establish a listening committee and provide more communication on social media so residents could stay informed on what is going on in town. She also said she would bolster economic development by highlighting the virtues of the town and its resources.
“This is our town and I am your candidate,” Raap said. “Together we make a difference.”
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, above, expresses her support for Denise Raap. Below, Raap thanks her supporters.