PLYMOUTH – The Republican Town Committee has released their slate of endorsed candidates, with Joe Kilduff securing the party’s nomination for mayor.
The Plymouth Republican Caucus was held July 27 and saw Kilduff, who formerly served as Republican Town Committee Chair and town tax collector, secure the party endorsement for mayor. Kilduff announced his intention to run for mayor in June after Mayor David Merchant announced that he would not seek another term.
Town Council candidates include Dan Gentile, Ron Tiscia, Joe Green, Roxanne McCann and Nate Brown.
The Republican Town Committee endorsed slate for Board of Education includes Lou Zbuska, Cindy Candrea-Florenciani and Dia Fusco.
Additionally, Jennifer Brunoli and Vicky Carey were endorsed as the Republican Board of Finance candidates.
Republican Constable candidates are George Castle, Rick Pinkerton, Eric Pelz and Christine Ciarmella.
Ron Wollenberg received the party endorsement for Board of Assessment Appeals, David Mischke was endorsed to run for treasurer, Erica Cabiya was endorsed for the Town Clerk candidate and Pam Pelletier received the party nod for the Tax Collector position.
Sandy Klimkoski, Darla Lizotte and Helena Schwalm received the Republican Town Committee’s endorsement to run for library trustee positions.
During his speech at the caucus, Kilduff congratulated all of his fellow nominees for putting themselves out there to serve their community. He said that they represent a “wonderful” slate of candidates that “represent Plymouth well” and will make for a strong ticket in November.
“Our slate is filled with people who work to make this community a better place, whether it's serving on boards or commissions, coaching, volunteering for their local church or The Lion's Club or other organizations that make Plymouth better,” he said.
Kilduff said he hopes that this slate of candidates will inspire others to have pride in Plymouth and get involved to help “build the kind of community that people want to live in, work in and raise a family in.”
Kilduff thanked Mayor David Merchant for supporting his mayoral run.
“Your confidence in me is humbling and I will work every day to prove that this confidence has not been misplaced,” he said. “Mr. Mayor, I know you gave everything you had in this job. You work tirelessly to make Plymouth a better place than when you took office and I say to you sir, ‘mission accomplished and a job well done.’ You have left big shoes to fill but you have left great footsteps for me to follow.”
Kilduff thanked his parents and his wife Chalaine, with whom he is raising a seven-month-old daughter, Brooklyn, for their support. He said he hopes to make Plymouth a great community for his daughter and other children to grow up in.
“Plymouth has always been the place I've called home. I grew up here, went to school here, played sports here, coached here and now started a family here,” he said. “I want Plymouth to fulfill its potential, I want Plymouth to continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family. As Brooklyn grows up, I want her to be proud that this community is her hometown. Imagine if we could make Plymouth the kind of community that more people who grew up here decided to stay, plant roots, raise a family and who knows maybe even start a business right here in town.”
Kilduff said that a “solid foundation” for Plymouth’s future was laid over the past eight years. This is why, he argued, it is “vital” to “keep Plymouth red in November.” Republican leadership, he said, has delivered for the town.
“Our short and long term financial health has improved substantially,” he said. “We have cracked down on blight, much needed infrastructure projects have been completed with more on the horizon and the business park is bustling with activity.”
However, Kilduff said that there are still obstacles to face going forward.
“The tax burden on property owners remains too high, the condition of our roads, while improving, needs to be upgraded,” he said. “Our police department is inadequate for our officers as they navigate policing in the 21st century and the condition of many of our athletic fields is sub-par”
Other challenges, Kilduff said, include the state creating “crushing unfunded mandates” and a business climate which “puts us at a competitive disadvantage.”
To overcome these challenges, Kilduff said that he wants to create a “vision for the future”, for what Plymouth should look like in 5, 10 or 25 years down the road.
“Let's start by tackling problems head on before they need bigger and more expensive solutions,” he said. “At the same time, we must prioritize our spending. Our residents work hard for what they have and we owe it to them to be responsible with their tax dollars. Simply put under my administration if it's not needed we are not going to do it. If it is needed our residents will know what, when where, why and how much.”
Kilduff said that the town should “keep in mind not just what is easy or politically expedient but what is beneficial for Plymouth today, tomorrow and years from now.”
“That's how we prevent a stagnant community,” he said. “That's how we prevent too many desperately needed projects from being delayed because of budgetary constraints. That's how in the long run we can attract businesses and ultimately lower the tax burden on our citizens.”
Kilduff said that after facing a pandemic that “has turned our lives upside down” and politics that have become “increasingly bitter and confrontational” that it is “more important than ever” to “double down on our commitment to the community.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.