On Tuesday night State Representative from (R-151) Fred Camillo announced his desire to run for Greenwich First Selectman in a crowded event at the Arch Street Teen Center, saying he would feel fortunate to be nominated by the Republican party.
He joins Board of Estimate and Taxation member and former chair, Republican Michael Mason in seeking his party’s nomination for the position.
Back on Feb 1, six-term First Selectman Republican Peter Tesei announced at a Friday afternoon press conference that he would not run again, but said he would work hard to assure the victory of the candidates nominated by the Republican Town Committee for the ballot.
Camillo was introduced by former State Senator for 36th district Scott Frantz, who described him as “an extraordinary person and extraordinary candidate for an office that means so much to people in Greenwich.”
“It can make all the difference in terms of our quality of life,” Frantz said, adding that he had worked closely with Camillo for a decade.
“No one works harder than he does. No one loves this Town more than he does. No one loves each and every one of you constituents more than Freddie Camillo,” Frantz said emphatically.
Before Camillo came on stage, Frantz introduced former Republican State Rep Mike Bocchino, district 150, who thanked Mr. Frantz and his wife Icy, pointing out they were instrumental in bringing the teen center to life. Arch Street is the longest running teen center in the US.
“Tonight we are here about a caring human being who gives everything he has to the people he loves and the Town of Greenwich that he cares about so deeply,” Bocchino said.
Camillo referred to Mr. Frantz and Mr. Bocchino as two of his best friends and “like family.”
“I love my job at the state capital, but I love my town more.” – State Rep Fred Camillo
“These days when you walk around the capital, it’s not the same. You have Democrats and Republican coming up and asking for them. That’s the first thing they ask, ‘How’s Mike and Scott?’ Their list of accomplishments is legendary, thank God they’re still in Town.”
Camillo said that if he serves as First Selectman he would be the first person to have served on the local RTM, CT General Assembly and as First selectman.
“But it’s not about title, nor the next logical step. I love my job at at the state capital but I love my Town more,” he said.
“In 10-1/2 years at the state capital, one thing I’ve learned is I never want to see my hometown be like Hartford. Greenwich, Connecticut has been the best run town since the 1930s.” – Fred Camillo
Camillo lauded Greenwich’s civic involvement and leadership. “Every first selectman and woman has left it in a better position than they found it. In the last 11 years I think Peter Tesei has done an amazing job at a really difficult time,” he said to a round of applause.
“Is the Town perfect? No,” he said. “I pledge to you tonight that if I am fortunate enough to be nominated by my party, the Republican party, and am fortunate to be selected in November by the Greenwich voters – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and unaffiliateds – I pledge to you that I’d treat my first term as my last term. It’s one day at a time, one year at a time, one term at a time. You don’t want to be burdened with running for re-election.”
Camillo said he’d be ready to hit the ground running if he becomes First Selectman and quoted 26th president of the United States Teddy Roosevelt, who said, “Always do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Camillo thanked several people including Kyle Silver and Hernan Donoso from the Teen Center. He thanked Town ambassador Bea Crumbine and her husband, five-time Republican selectman Peter Crumbine, former BET member Harry Fisher, former BET budget chair Joe Pellegrino, BET member Karen Fassuliotis, and town clerk Carmella Budkins.
He also thanked first selectman of Semour, CT, Kurt Miller and Joe Marini of Chicken Joe’s who provided the food. “Is there anyone with a bigger heart than Joey Marini?” he asked.