On Wednesday evening, May 16, at the historic Hitchcock Hose Company Fire House, Orange Board of Education member Mary Welander was unanimously endorsed as the democratic candidate for State Representative for the 114th District. The 114th District encompasses parts of Orange, Derby and the Town of Woodbridge.
“I am running because I believe our district is not accurately reflected by our current representation in Hartford. I am deeply committed to our area and want it to be as strong as it can be now and in the future for all of our children. I believe we have a duty to stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong, and I am not seeing enough of either from our representative. We live in a proud, strong, diverse district; I believe that our strengths lie in our differences and Connecticut will be stronger if we embrace new ideas while still respecting our history. I would be honored to represent the voices of my neighbors in Hartford.”
In addition to serving on the Board of Education, Mary was recently re-elected as the Vice Chair of the Orange Democratic Town Committee, serves on the Board of the PTA at Race Brook School, is the statewide representative for the Sandy Hook Promise Organization, as well as other community groups throughout town.
In nominating Welander, Kate Rozen of Woodbridge quoted Melinda Gates, “If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember, also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.” Rozen added, “what makes this race and this candidate so special is because that ideal is embodied in what WE are kicking off this evening.”
“I first met Mary after the 2016 Presidential election. Mary began attending our DTC (Democratic Town Committee) meetings. She showed confidence and knowledge not only of the issues but also she has a keen understanding of the legislative process,” said Jody Dietch, chair of the Orange DTC who seconded the nomination. Dietch added, “Mary quickly educated herself on how accomplishments happen in Hartford. She is not someone who would have a learning curve taking on a new job. She is already schooled in that and also is well known by many in Hartford. She has the energy and more importantly, the integrity to represent not just the 114th district but all of the residents of Connecticut.”
Laurence Grotheer, Woodbridge DTC Chair, recently said, “Mary will be an outstanding representative for the 114th and Connecticut. Her commitment to a better future for Connecticut is evident in her work on the OBOE and all she has accomplished in other community service roles. We look forward to her representing us and bringing bi-partisanship back to Hartford.”
“We are very excited that Mary is running for State Representative. We need a fresh perspective in Hartford. As a mother of three young children and an active PTA parent, her commitment to the prosperity of future generations is exactly the new approach we need to problem solving in Hartford.” said Aniello Malerba, III, Chair of the Derby DTC.
Mary and her husband, Matt, live in Orange with their three children and dog, Bauer.