Dan Drew won't face a Republican candidate this November after no one stepped forward to challenge the Democratic mayor as the party's nominating committee met Tuesday in council chambers.
As new faces join incumbents on the Middletown GOP's November slate, two longtime council members were left unendorsed by their party at the convention.
Three-term Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano was selected to run for common council, along with three-term Board of Education member Ryan Kennedy. Sandra Russo-Driska, who as recently as late July said she was waiting some time before running for public office, accepted the GOP's nod for the common council slate, as did Deputy Director of Emergency Service Angel Fernandez, P&Z member Nicholas Fazzino and former Councilman David Bauer.
Giuliano said he's thrilled to be on the ticket. "I'm honored to be nominated and looking forward to campaigning with the Middletown Republican team."
Kennedy said he's reluctant to leave the board of education but believes his experience will be an asset. "One of my regular frustrations with the current council is the lack of knowledge about education. I hope to be able to share my knowledge about education with my colleagues when I am a councilman," Kennedy said.
Former Deputy Mayor Joseph Bibisi, who's been an councilman since 2001, and minority leader Phil Pessina, who has served since 2007 on the council, failed to win their party's endorsement.
Incumbent councilwomen Linda Salafia, the top vote-getter from her party, and Deborah Kleckowski easily garnered nominations. They, along with Russo-Driska, received the most votes for candidacy.
Bauer was also nominated for Planning and Zoning alongside Robert Simpson and Jeremy Clark.
Linda Sienkiewicz and incumbent Sheila Daniels for board of education, along with political newcomer Brian Kaskel for board of education. He currently sits on the Bielefield Elementary School governance council.
Clark was named as P&Z alternate, with David Greaves and Jon Pulino for Board of Assessment Appeals. Kennedy is also nominated for treasurer.
Giuliano said he's looking forward to rejoining Middletown politics.
"There are many issues to be addressed in the coming term, most of which fall under the umbrella of the proper exercise of the duties and responsibilities given to the Common Council by the City Charter. The Democrat-controlled council of the past two decades has neglected and abandoned its proper role, and that is something the Republican team is committed to remedy."
Over the coming weeks, he said the GOP slate will present "specific, concrete and clear proposals that it pledges to enact if elected to office. I look forward to debating those proposals with our Democrat counterparts."
Planning and Zoning commissioners whose terms expire this November are Republicans Nicholas Fazzino, Les Adams and alternate Ken McClellan, and Democrat Daniel Russo.