When Greg Smith had to step down from the Board of Aldermen in 2001 to fulfill a military obligation overseas, he asked his friend Judy Toohey to finish his term.
Toohey went on to win four terms of her own from the 2nd District, but she announced Monday that she would not seek re-election after all.
The local Republican Party turned back to Smith, who said that he will run in her place in November.
"I love it and I am leaving hoping to come back someday or to serve the city in another capacity," Toohey said. "But I want to spend more time with my family. I hope that Jim Richetelli is re-elected and that he finds a place for me where I can help the city and have more time with my family."
The lineup change is the third since the GOP held its nominating convention in July. Since then, John Fowler and Joanne Rohrig have been replaced as Board of Education candidates by James Tranquilli Jr. and Mark Stapleton, respectively. Fowler said that he was nominated as a "placeholder" with the understanding that he would step aside when another candidate came forward. Rohrig, the school board's minority leader, dropped out after her son, Jared, an Orange police officer, was arrested on sexual assault charges that allegedly took place in the family's home. Stapleton has served on the school board previously.
Republican Town Committee Chairman Tom Jagodzinski said he was pleased that Smith is interested in running again. "I'm sorry that Jude will not be running, but Greg Smith is an excellent candidate with an outstanding record of service to our country and our city. Milford is lucky to have an individual with his credentials who is willing to serve our city again," the chairman said.
Smith, who said that he is not at liberty to discuss his military assignments or duties, was called out of the country by the U.S. Navy, in which he served, in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Since his return to Milford he has served as commander of the VFW post here and is now a state official in that organization. He said that he has also been focusing on his family, including his wife, Christine, and son, Matt, who graduated from Jonathan Law High School in June. The Smiths are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year.
"In 2005 I retired from 22 years of service in both the United States Navy and Army. My wife saw me through six deployments. I am home for good now," the aldermanic candidate said. "For the last several years, I have worked to implement disabled building access projects for veterans, volunteered at the West Haven VA Hospital, sent over 600 care packages to our local troops overseas, and raised funds to help their families here in Milford.
"I am honored that Judy Toohey has asked to pass the torch back to me," Smith said. "I am looking forward to working with Bob Joy to serve our neighbors and friends in Milford's 2nd District as their aldermen. I know Bob and I will make a great team. Along with Mayor Richetelli, we will return the 2nd District to the responsible hands of neighbors they can count on to keep our community safe by listening to the real concerns of our police officers and firefighters. We will ensure that our veterans and seniors are respected, and that our children are provided with the best education the citizens of Milford can afford."
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