Democrat Dan Cruson Running For First Selectman
On June 7, local Democrat and Board of Education member Dan Cruson announced his plans to seek the First Selectman’s seat this fall. No details about a possible running mate were included.
Current First Selectman Dan Rosenthal previously announced his intentions to step back from elected service and will not be running for re-election. At press time, the local Republicans had not responded to a query from The Newtown Bee regarding a potential candidate for Newtown’s top elected office.
In his acceptance speech, Cruson detailed that he was born and raised in Newtown, and has watched the community change and evolve over his 32 years of residency.
“I went to school here, and my family has been heavily involved in the town for decades — including my father being Town Historian for 27 years and my mother volunteering with the schools and Cullens Youth Association,” the newly endorsed candidate stated.
“My wife and I have lived in other towns but chose to raise our children here because we knew that in Newtown we would feel we were part of a real community,” Cruson continued. “We wanted to participate in community events with our children, to have them attend superior schools, and to expose them to lots of green, open space. We knew these unique qualities existed in Newtown, and we treasure living here.”
About a year after he and his family moved back, Cruson said he learned the local Republican party was looking for someone to fill a vacated seat on the Board of Education.
“I volunteered, and have since been reelected for two terms; one as a Republican/Unaffliated and one as a Democrat,” Cruson explained.
“For the last seven years I have been fully engaged in working to improve the Newtown schools, using my ability to analyze situations and determine possible scenarios to give thoughtful guidance on decisions that affect our entire student population,” he continued. “I have stuck to my ideals and have not been swayed by the politics that seem to haunt these decisions. Even when I have been on the losing side of a decision made by the [school] board, I have never felt my side was the wrong side.”
Cruson said as he watched the Republican party move in a more and more conservative direction, “I realized that my ideals no longer fit in with what the RTC expected me to represent.”
“I want my sons to be part of a school district that has an open marketplace of ideas, where it doesn’t matter who they are or what they think or feel,” Cruson said. “We want them to be part of a community that values individuals and offers inclusivity for all, not one that forces them to conform. These are all ideals that the Democratic party and the Newtown DTC have allowed me to represent and support.”
Cruson believes there is much more he can offer Newtown by taking on the role of First Selectman.
“We’re at a crossroads. I see and hear lots of thoughts on where the town should go,” he said. “As a website developer I’m constantly faced with problems that require solutions grounded in logic. My data-driven and analytical approach will be a huge asset toward leading Newtown into the future.
“My ability to integrate different viewpoints will also be crucial. I don’t believe in shutting down opposing perspectives, but champion the exchange of ideas, and believe open conversation is the key to positive change,” Cruson asserted. “The future of our town is something we all need to shape, together.”
Cruson said he believes, “we can maintain our unique, beautiful community and embrace its history while making it welcoming to all people, to new businesses and to new ideas.”
“We can ensure that Newtown is a vibrant community, one that is ready for the future. As a moderate voice who has been a Republican, an Unaffiliated, and a Democrat, I have the skills and open-mindedness necessary to balance the variety of viewpoints in Newtown,” Cruson concluded. “Together we can build a welcoming community that embraces all that makes us uniquely Newtown.”
Look for future interviews with Cruson and any additional candidate information in The Newtown Bee as it becomes available.
Editor John Voket can be reached at email@example.com.