May 25 -- Randall Balmer accepted the Democratic nomination by acclamation to run against State Representative, Republican John Frey, for his seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives in November. Nominated by First Selectman Rudy Marconi, and seconded by Barbara Manners, Selectwoman, Randall Balmer outlined his reasons for running to the cheering crowd of Democrats.
"It is time to have a debate about what is good for Ridgefield and Connecticut," he stated. "Mr. Frey has been unopposed for this seat while things in Hartford have gotten worse, not better, for the State. With the current status of the government in Hartford, I think it is valuable to have the dialogue now."
Randall Balmer is a professor at Columbia University and a nationally-recognized expert on religion, politics and morality, winning an Emmy for a PBS series he wrote and produced, as well as numerous accolades for his more than 10 books and commentaries for CNN, MSNBC, the Nation and Time, among other publications. He is an active outdoor enthusiast with his wife, Catherine Randall, and two children. Currently, Randall is a member of the Ridgefield Parks and Recreation Commission and the Ridgefield Educational Foundation.
In her seconding speech, Selectwoman Barbara Manners commented on the thoughtful intelligence and problem-solving Randall brings to everything he does, declaring, " I am sure that he will raise the standards in Hartford once he is elected and will do a great job for Ridgefield and our State in the House of Representatives."
Randall Balmer has already demonstrated his ability to connect with and attract voters. Last November, he narrowly lost his first-ever race for the Board of Education by 4 votes, then graciously ceded his right to a recount in favor of current BOE Chairwoman, Kitty Fischer. " He did the right thing, and demonstrated leadership and dignity, "commented Barbara Manners.
Democrats and other supporters are planning their campaign for State Representative. This is their first-time chance to oppose Frey in what is widely perceived to be a vigorous State and Federal election in the Fall. With Westport businessman and community leader, Democrat Arlo Ellison, challenging for the State Senate seat from the 26th District held by Judy Friedman, voters will truly have a choice about how they are represented at the capital.
"Randall Balmer is ready to hold Hartford accountable for the way our State is governed and for the effects it has upon us and the entire State. We are excited by him as a man and as a candidate. We are fortunate to have him and his family committed to the race and to our town. We need him in Hartford--and we plan to work to make sure he is there in November," announced DTC Chair, Susan D. Cocco.
Balmer will run with a full slate of Democrats for the upcoming election: John Kerry for president, Chris Dodd for U.S. Senate, Diane Farrell for U.S. House of Representatives, Arlo Ellison for State Senate, and Cindy Bruno for reelection as Registrar of Voters.
For more information about how you can help with Randall Balmer's campaign contact us.
Randall Balmer, Democratic candidate for State Representative from Ridgefield, has been a professor of American religious history at Columbia University since earning the Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985. He is the author of ten books, and he has written, produced and hosted three documentaries for PBS. One of them, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, based on his book by the same title, won several awards and was nominated for an Emmy. Dr. Balmer is widely sought after as a commentator by national and international news media, including Time, Newsweek, CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox News, PBS and the BBC. He is editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine, and his opinion pieces have appeared in newspapers across the country, including the Des Moines Register, New York Newsday, the San Diego Times-Union, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Nation, the New York Times, the Hartford Courant and the Ridgefield Press.
Here in Ridgefield, Dr. Balmer serves as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and he is active in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. In his first bid for elective office in November 2003, he came within four votes of winning a seat on the Board of Education. In recent months, he has been active in the formation of the Ridgefield Educational Foundation, serving as vice chair.
In addition to his appointment at Columbia, Dr. Balmer has taught as a visiting professor at Yale, Princeton, Rutgers, Drew and Northwestern universities and at Union Theological Seminary, where he is adjunct professor of church history. He also teaches in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia. Dr. Balmer lectures frequently to various groups, ranging from church and civic organizations to the Smithsonian Associates, the Chautauqua Institution and the Department of State. Prior to his career in education, he was a magazine editor and a small businessman, having started his own janitorial service while a junior in high school.
His wife, Catharine Randall, a professor of French at Fordham University, is a volunteer ranger for the Conservation Commission and a member of Friends of the Ridgefield Library, the Career Woman’s Club, the Huguenot Society, the American Association of University Women and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a part-time student at Yale Divinity School, and she does volunteer work with the Regional and Mid-Fairfield County Hospice. Their family includes Christian, a first-year student at Columbia, Andrew, a junior who is active in theater, and Sara, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School.
They live on Beechwood Lane in the Twin Ridge neighborhood of Ridgefield.
Brought to you by the Ridgefield, Ct.
Democratic Town Committee, Susan D. Cocco, Chairman
Paid for by The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee, Robert M. Opotzner, Treasurer