Election 2021

Welcome New Voters!


Dear Neighbor,

Whether you are a new resident or a current resident registering for the first time, we welcome you! Your decision to register as a Bethel Voter is vitally important to our democracy and the leadership and management of our town, state, and country.

In Bethel, we enjoy a town meeting form of government, a New England tradition. Our Town Charter requires us to elect or re-elect our Board of Selectpersons every two years.  We also elect members of Boards and Commissions for two or four-year terms.  This gives you the opportunity every two years to help select the people who will manage and guide the direction of our town.

We are fortunate to have the leadership of First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker (D) and Selectman Rich Straiton (D) for six consecutive terms (twelve years).  Under their direction and the Democratic leadership on our Board of Finance, Bethel has:

  • Grown from 14,000 to 20,000 residents
  • Earned a AAA bond rating (highest possible), which allows Bethel to fund municipal projects at extremely favorable interest rates
  • Built a new police station
  • Renovated two elementary schools
  • Implemented a renewable energy (solar) farm
  • Seen the addition of a field house to our athletic facilities
  • Reduced short-term debt and renegotiated long-term debt
  • Instituted a Covid vaccine facility
  • Become a dining “hub” in Fairfield County

Democratic majorities on our Boards and Commissions are vital to continuing our trajectory of managed growth, financial stability, educational excellence, and community safety and well-being.

Let’s keep Bethel flourishing by electing fellow citizens committed to democracy for all. The best way to ensure Bethel’s deserved reputation as one of Connecticut’s best small town is to have a tremendous turn-out of Democratic voters and unaffiliated supporters on November 2nd.  Please cast your vote for Bethel’s Democratic candidates!

Kind regards,

David Olson, Vice Chairman, Bethel Democratic Town Committee, and 2021 Campaign Chairman

Nick Vitti Jr., Chairman, Bethel Democratic Town Committee


To Our Bethel Neighbors

Campaign Van at Municipal Center

Dear Neighbor,

Campaign season is upon us, and Bethel’s Democratic Party is excited! We have an incredible slate of new candidates and incumbents running for our boards, commissions, and elected positions. To ensure everyone’s safety, our campaign strategy will look a bit different this year.

  1. The Bethel Democrats are saying goodbye to the traditional brick & mortar headquarters this year. Instead…


  1. Hello, Mobile HQ! Mobile HQ — a cargo van adorned with our campaign signs — will bring our candidates all around town for outdoor conversations and door-to-door campaigning. We’ll also hand out lawn signs from the van. We will publish a schedule of times and locations where Mobile HQ will be available, or you can schedule a time to meet our candidates in person by calling 203.300.9193. Mobile HQ can even visit your home for an outdoor meet-and-greet event!


  1. Look for us online! You will find our messaging on our candidates page, our Facebook page, Instagram, and The Bethel, CT Forum – A Social, Economic, and Political Discussion on Facebook. Our campaign literature, including our candidate brochure, will be available on the website.  If you know of someone without internet access, please call 203.300.9193, and we will make sure they receive our literature.


Bethel is an incredible place to call home. We need YOU, our Democratic and Unaffiliated supporters, to keep it that way! Democratic majorities on our Boards and Commissions are vital to continuing our trajectory of managed growth, financial stability, educational excellence, and community safety and well-being. We need YOU to support the Bethel Democratic ticket on November 2.


Kind regards,

David Olson, Vice Chairman, Bethel Democratic Town Committee, and 2021 Campaign Chairman

Nick Vitti, Jr., Chairman, Bethel Democratic Town Committee


Matt Knickerbocker and Richard Straiton Announce Run for Re-election in Bethel

On July 19th, 2021, Bethel’s First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker and Selectman Richard Straiton announced their intentions on to run for re-election in the upcoming municipal election on November 2nd. A successful reelection bid would win their seventh term of office since first gaining the positions in 2009.


In announcing their campaign, the pair pointed to their notable track record during their time in office. “Since our first day in office, we have dedicated ourselves to achieving bipartisan support for the betterment of our community,” Knickerbocker said in the announcement. “We have made it a point to leave politics at the door and work for every resident of our town.”


Selectman Rich Straiton concurred. “During our time in office, we have concentrated our efforts on improving our town’s finances, budget control and infrastructure. Our aggressive road construction program has just passed its tenth year and is still going strong, and our high AAA bond rating was just reaffirmed for the fifth consecutive year,” Straiton said.


The pair listed other notable accomplishments, include an effective response to last year’s COVID-19 crisis and operating a best-in-class public vaccine clinic, successful full scale “renovate as new” projects at Johnson and Rockwell elementary schools, completion of one of the state’s first municipal solar farms to reduce energy costs, completion of major upgrades to Bethel’s public water system and land purchases to increase “open space” holdings and preserve the town’s rural areas.


Knickerbocker and Straiton also spoke of upcoming plans. “We need to do more to improve sustainability,” Knickerbocker said in discussing ideas to expand renewable energy systems in town. His proposal calls for expanding the role of the town’s energy commission to include work in other areas of sustainability, such as reducing solid waste and improving recycling systems. Other projects currently under way include introducing new technologies to improve work efficiencies at town hall. Two ongoing projects include a new online permitting system for the building, land use, public works and health departments, and a complete revamp of the town’s website to provide new online services to residents.


“We are very excited about the future of Bethel.” Knickerbocker said. “Our community has worked together to get through this pandemic, we’ve invested wisely in our schools, and we’re ready to keep our community moving forward. It would be an honor for both of us to continue to serve our town.”