Longtime legislator announces run for Westport first selectman

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, of Westport, speaks during a press conference at the Morton Government Center, in Bridgeport, Conn. Aug. 5, 2019. Steinberg has announced that he will run for First Selectman of Westport in the November 2021 election.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, of Westport, speaks during a press conference at the Morton Government Center, in Bridgeport, Conn. Aug. 5, 2019. Steinberg has announced that he will run for First Selectman of Westport in the November 2021 election.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTPORT — State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, who has represented Westport for 11 years in the state legislature, has announced he will run for the town’s top seat this election season. His running mate will be Board of Education Chair Candice Savin.

Steinberg, who has served six terms in Hartford and, before that, on Westport’s Representative Town Meeting for seven years, said Monday that he has long been interested in running for first selectman and thought it was a good time to take the leap.

“I first indicated interest eight or nine years ago, but I think I’ll be a more successful selectman now,” he said. “I love this town. I think I know the people pretty well and the values pretty well.”

Steinberg said, if elected, one of his key issues will be boosting the profile of Westport’s downtown.

“I’m very interested to see if we can enhance Westport’s downtown as a real destination for Westporters.”

Other key issues he mentioned include putting “a lot of focus on capital spending plan and making sure all of our schools are safe,” as well as addressing traffic and transportation issues.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of focus on what makes Westport a special place,” Steinberg said.

Republican incumbent First Selectman Jim Marpe has announced he won’t run for reelection. In April, Second Selectman Jennifer Tooker, a Republican, announced she would run for Marpe’s position with Board of Finance Vice Chair Andrea Moore as her running mate. Marpe announced his endorsement of that ticket earlier this month.

“Jen Tooker has been an invaluable partner in my administration over the past three and a half years,” Marpe said in his endorsement statement. “Her incredible ability to solve complex problems and bring people together is the reason Jen has been tasked with managing some of the most important initiatives of our administration, including chairing the ReOpen Westport Advisory Team.”

Marpe, Tooker and Moore did not return requests for comment on Monday.