Easton Democrats Celebrate First Selectman at Inaugural Ball

Easton residents, friends, and community leaders gathered together to honor the historic win of David Bindelglass as the Town of Easton’s First Selectman, and to thank Bob Lessler for his twenty years of service as Selectman.  (L – R) Michelle Lapine McCabe, Anne Hughes, Bob Lessler, and David Bindelglass at the First Selectman’s Inaugural Ball on January 18th in Easton, CT.
Photography by: Lillie Fortino.

Bindelglass, an orthopedic surgeon from Easton, Connecticut, was elected this November as the Town’s first Democratic First Selectman in 36 years. Along with Selectman Bob Lessler, who was re-elected to his eleventh term as Selectman, the two have formed the first Democratic majority on the town board since 2003. The election is also historic because it is the first time since 1983 that Easton has elected a Democratic First Selectman as well as a Democratic majority to the three member board.

Despite the inclement weather on Saturday, January 18th, approximately 70 guests arrived at the private estate of longtime residents and art collectors, Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz, who graciously hosted the Inaugural Ball for Bindelglass. “Easton is here tonight, and we’re bringing change,” said Leonard as he welcomed guests to the party that evening. “Smart and hard work led us to the first board control since 1983, and hopefully will help to bring change nationally in 2020.”

The attendees celebrated the collective achievements of the long serving Democrats in Easton, with remarks from State Rep. Anne Hughes, State Senatorial candidate Michelle Lapine McCabe, Selectman Lessler, and First Selectman Bindelglass. The event doubled as a fundraiser for 2020 campaigns and leadership initiatives supported by the Easton Democratic Town Committee (EDTC) and its members.

“Easton residents want to be informed and valued no matter their age, race, or gender. Our neighbors want to feel safe, heard, and like they belong in this community, and we will continue to be guided by our vision that upholds the quality of life and prosperity of each of our citizens. The EDTC is working hard to be an example of how a town can positively collaborate for the greater good of all of its residents. We are grateful for the support of our state representatives and leaders, and we are looking forward to even more success for Democrats in 2020,” stated Nanette DeWester, Chairperson of the EDTC.

To learn more about how you can serve alongside the Democratic town leadership, build community, and participate in planning for Easton’s future, please visit the EDTC website and attend an upcoming monthly meeting. The EDTC is an inclusive, engaged, and welcoming group of residents who believe in public involvement, as well as a proactive and solutions-oriented approach to town government.

Bindelglass Begins Tenure as First Selectman

EC Swearing In Kristi SogofskyJPG
Town Clerk Christine Halloran shakes hands with Republican Kristi Sogofsky after swearing her into office as a selectman. — Janet Haller Photo

EC NWS Swearing in Lessler
Town Clerk Christine Halloran swears in Democrat Robert Lessler for his 11th term as a selectman. — Janet Haller Photo caption

First Selectman Dr. David Bindelglass spent the past two weeks since the November election getting to know the inner workings of Town Hall.

Easton has no charter and no honeymoon period. Elected officials immediately take office as soon as they are sworn in. That meant the next day for Bingdelglass, a Democrat; Selectman Kristi Sogofsky, a Republican serving her first full term after filling a vacancy; and Selectman Robert Lessler, a Democrat who is starting his 11th term in office. 

Former Republican First Selectman Adam Dunsby chose not to seek a fourth term. Republican Wendy Bowditch, former treasurer and Republican Town Committee chair, was nominated to replace him. Republican Dwight Senior ran as a petitioning candidate in a tight rate with a higher than usual turnout of voters.

Dunsby began his first-term with a pledge to work the part-time-paid first selectman’s job on a full-time basis. Bindelglass, an orthopedic surgeon, is working both jobs, like previous selectmen before him, including Republican William Kunpinse, who maintained his law practice as first selectman.

Bindelglass has experienced people in Town Hall and the Board of Selectmen to help him, especially Janet Haller, assistant to the first selectman, and Lessler, an attorney has served as a selectman for more than two decades.

Democratic first selectmen are rare in Easton history. Democratic majority boards of selectmen are even rarer. There was a one-term Democratic First Selectman in 1931, according to Lessler.

The next one was Fran Merilot in 1973, who served for one term. Next came Lois Stueck in 1981. All of them served with two Republican selectmen. 

Stueck was re-elected in 1983, together with a Democratic selectman, thus forming the first Democratic Board of Selectmen in Easton history, 

“In 2003, Emmett Wallace and I somehow managed to take both selectmen seats with Bill Kupinse as the Republican first selectman,” Lessler said. “It seems that David Bindelglass and I have created only the second Democratic Board of Selectmen with a Democratic first selectman! Emmett actually passed away in that horrible accident in December after we lost our majority in 2005.”