LITCHFIELD — The field for the race for first selectman just balanced itself out, with Republican Selectman Jonathan Torrant announcing his intent to run for the seat in November. Now both parties have a single candidate for the towns’ top seat in November.

Democrat Denise Raap, co-owner of the Village Restaurant on the Green and a longtime member of the Litchfield community, announced her intent to run for first selectman in late June. Both parties’ caucuses are set for July 23.

Torrant has served the Board of Selectmen for seven years. Born in Torrington, he is a 1967 Litchfield High School graduate and has lived in Litchfield for most of his life. He and his wife of 45 years, Susan, have a grown son, Michael.

Torrant attended Middlebury College and graduated in 1971, then served in the U.S. Army in 1972. From 1972-1976, he worked for the Torrington Company, followed by a careerwith Ingersoll-Rand from 1976-1984, when he started his own purchasing, sales and marketing company. He is now semi-retired. He is chairman of the Litchfield 300 committee for the town’s anniversary, a former chairman of the Parks & Recreation Commission, and a past president of the Litchifeld Lions Club. He is also chairman of the Bantam River jambs committee.

“Behind the old BE Aerospace building on Route 202, there’s a dam in the river, and it has boards across it that control the level of Bantam Lake,” Torrant explained. “It’s something a group of people do by hand, and it’s very dangerous. For about 12 years, we’ve been working to replace those wooden jambs with a hydraulic system that will be more efficient and safer.

“We’ve tried for help from the Department of Environmental Protection and Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers, and we finally got easements and a design, and got approval for the hydraulic system about a year or so ago,” Torrant said. “But the engineering company that did the design for us, went out of business. The good thing is, we have received a Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant, and we’re back on track with the hydraulic design ... but it has taken a very long time to get to this point. It’s a perfect example of why it takes so long to get anything done when you’re dealing with the government.”

That being said, Torrant noted that local government in Litchfield is about cooperation and communication. His goal as first selectman, he said, is to get all boards and commissions to work together. “We have had an excellent Board of Selectman for many years, and I want to continue that,” he said. “I want to get other boards and commissions to work with the town. I’m looking forward to that.”

Town committee chairman Bill Burgess was excited about having Torrant as a candidate for the town’s top seat. The committee, he said, has worked hard to develop a slate of candidates that will serve their offices well. “I’m thrilled to death that Jon Torrant has stepped forward,” he said. “He’s a bright guy, a practical guy, a good manager and a good leader. He has humility, and he resonates with people.

“We are off to a fresh beginning, and for Litchfield finding its balance ... the town is the sum of its parts, from Northfield, to Milton to East Litchfield, to Bantam and back to Litchfield. It’s all about the whole community,” Burgess said.

Torrant believes he’s ready to be first selectman. “I’d like to survive it,” he said. “I’m pretty well prepared, and if something comes up, I’ll do my best for the town. I want to keep a positive, civil campaign season. If anything negative comes up, ,it won’t come from me. I have always tried to do my best for as many people in Litchfield as possible.”