2017 Democratic Campaign Team Named

Fresh Energy and Ideas for Coventry

2017 Candidates July

2017 Coventry Democratic candidates pose with Congressman Joe Courtney

July 21, 2017

The Coventry Democrats held their caucus on Friday, July 21, 2017 at Patriots Park Lodge. Liz Woolf, Chair of the Nominating committee, presented the proposed slate of seventeen nominees and each candidate was endorsed unanimously. The candidates are energized to serve Coventry.

Democratic Town Committee Chair, Dorothy Grady, said “I am  impressed with the incumbents and first time candidates who came forward with their commitment and enthusiasm to serve our community. It is especially exciting to have Joan Lewis once again lead our ticket for the Town Council.  I look forward to the campaign and encourage the voters in town get to know their friends and neighbors who have volunteered to serve their town by running for office".

Campaign manager Lisa Thomas expressed pride in the robust Democratic slate, commenting: “It’s time to put Coventry’s Community First.  Our goal is to restore respectful discussion on the Town Council and to address all aspects of our community’s needs. The majority of our candidates are women and/or are new to running for office.  This team brings fresh energy and ideas to Coventry. ”

The candidates are:

For Town Council:

Joan Lewis is well known in Coventry having been born and raised here, and having served several terms on both the Board of Education and the Town Council. Joan also served 4 terms as State Representative and has volunteered  for many organizations and committees. Joan will provide invaluable leadership for the  team.

Carolyn Arabolos, who is a newcomer to politics, works for PayFlex Systems USA as the Head of Financial Operations. Through her professional work, she has developed in depth knowledge of health insurance, consumer financial products such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and funds management. Her husband, Greg, is a retired career Hartford firefighter.

Lisa Conant, a newcomer to politics, is a Grants and Contracts Administrator at the United Way of Connecticut and has extensive experience working in municipal government. Both her children graduated from the Coventry public schools.

Jonathan Hand, a newcomer to seeking elected office, has lived his entire life in Coventry. He is a graduate of UConn and Coventry High School. Jon is an analyst at the State Department of Labor. He and his wife Allyson, who teaches at Coventry High School, have two young daughters. 

Sam Norman, currently serves on Coventry’s Inland Wetland’s Commission, is a board member of the Gerald Park neighborhood association, and is a high school English teacher in Colchester. His wife, Teresa, is also an educator. Sam and Teresa have three children, two currently in the Coventry schools. Their oldest son graduated from Coventry High and has enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

For Board of Education:

Jennifer Beausoleil, currently serves as vice-chairwoman of the BOE and has also served as Chairwoman. She is a software engineer with 30 years experience leading cross discipline technology teams to develop software systems and solutions for product and research development companies, and has been a Coventry youth basketball coach. She and her husband Vern have two children who are Coventry graduates.

Mary Kortmann, currently serves on the BOE and has chaired its fiscal committee. She also served 10 years on the Coventry Economic Development Commission.  Mary and her husband Bob run Ecosystem Consulting Service, Inc., a Coventry based small business. They were both active volunteers while their two children moved through the Coventry schools.

Gene Marchand, currently serves on the BOE. His 43 year professional career has been spent working with children and youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice fields as an administrator.  Gene and his wife Patricia volunteered for many years as their children moved through the Coventry school system.

Peter Larson, is a newcomer seeking elected office and is a 2011 graduate of Coventry High School. Peter graduated from UConn in 2015 and is now pursuing his graduate degree in education at Eastern CT State University. He has worked as a substitute teacher in the Coventry schools and certainly knows them well!  Peter’s parents, Mark and Fran,  are both nurses. Fran is a wool vendor at the Coventry Farmer’s Market.

In addition, Ron Dextrauder and Jillian Wood-Reviczky seek re-election to Board of Assessment Appeals and are joined by newcomer Suzanne Haviland. Beth Bauer, Claire Twerdy, and Cheryl Resha seek election to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Valdis Vinkels and Lisa Thomas, both former Town Council members, seek to serve as ZBA alternates.

Campaign Manager: Lisa Thomas

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