May Newsletter

Message from the Chairman


Dear Bethel Democrats,


At our last Democratic Town Committee meeting, we adopted a new mission statement. The Bethel Democratic Town Committee builds an inclusive, forward thinking, and socially responsible community in Bethel. We believe this simple statement encompasses everything we strive to be for the residents of our town. This mission will be accomplished by electing Democrats for Bethel boards, commissions, and offices and supporting Democratic candidates for State and National elections. 

Convention season is underway! This is the time when the State Democratic Party organizes conventions in each district to nominate our candidates for office. The 2024 Election will be here before we know it, and this process is an important part of what makes local grass roots democracy succeed. Bethel has multiple State Senate and State House districts, depending on which part of town your street lands in. If you are unsure who your State Senator or State Representative is, please use the Find Your Legislator link on the State of Connecticut website to see who currently represents you. 

Our next BDTC meeting will be Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m., a change in our typical schedule because of Democratic caucuses. We meet in the Senior Center Cafeteria at the Municipal Center and would love to have you join us to get involved. Also – save the date for our Bethel Democratic Town Picnic which will be held on Sunday, July 28. It’s a great opportunity to engage with those who are running for office this coming November. And, our great volunteer chefs will be cooking up delicious wood-fire roasted chicken, burgers, corn and many other wonderful treats.  All are welcome!




Matt Knickerbocker, BDTC Chairman


State Candidates


For all elections, Bethel is divided into 4 voting districts.

The entirety of Bethel is located in the 5th Congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Jahana Hayes who is running for a fourth term in 2024.

Bethel is currently split between two State Senate districts: the 28th State Senatorial District,which covers parts of Bethel, Easton, Fairfield and Newtown, currently represented by Sen. Tony Hwang, a Republican, who is being challenged this fall by Rob Blanchard, and the 32nd State Senatorial District, which covers part of Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Oxford, Roxbury, Southbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury, and parts of Bethel, Brookfield, Middlebury and Seymour, is currently represented by Sen. Eric Berthel, a Republican, who is being challenged this fall by Jeff Desmarais. 

Bethel is also split between two State House districts: the 2nd State Assembly District, which covers Bethel and Danbury and is currently represented by Democrat Raghib Allie-Brennan who is running for reelection and the 107th State Assembly District, which currently represented by Republican Martin Foncello, and is being challenged this fall by Democratic candidate Aaron Zimmer


Walk Audit in Stony Hill May 18

The Sustainable Bethel Commission is  organizing a Walk Audit of STONY HILL ROAD / ROUTE 6 in Bethel to document and capture the experiences of pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation riders and to find and recommend to the town more sustainable transit oriented development options. The objective is to improve safety, ease of access to local businesses, and quality of life for Bethel residents, organizations, and businesses in the Stony Hill area. It will start at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Stony Hill Road and Old Hawleyville Road.



Follow us on Instagram!

We have a new Instagram account! Follow @bethelctdems to engage and interact with the Bethel Democratic Town Committee.  



Volunteer for the Bethel Walk Audit with Sustainable Bethel

The Bethel Walk Audit will take place SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2024 from 1 PM – 3 PM at the INTERSECTION OF STONY HILL ROAD AND OLD HAWLEYVILLE ROAD.

The Sustainable Bethel Commission is seeking volunteers to conduct a Walk Audit on part of Stony Hill/ Route 6 in Bethel to document and capture the experiences of pedestrians, cyclists, public transportation riders and others to find and recommend to the town more sustainable transit oriented development options. The objective is to improve safety, ease of access to local establishments, and quality of life for Bethel residents, organizations, and businesses in the Stony Hill area.

The Sustainable Bethel Commission and Bethel residents will be taking a close study of the intersection at Stony Hill Road and Old Hawleyville Road and the surrounding area. We are notifying the community and inviting you to participate in the Bethel Walk Audit.

Click here for the FB event page, the flyer and more information about what a walk audit entails. If you are interested in participating as an individual or a group/organization please click the link or scan the QR code on the flyer to complete the volunteer form. Reach out with any questions about volunteering and/or partnering with the Sustainable Bethel Commission to

Click here for more information on the walk audit event.


New Leadership for Bethel Democrats

We would like to congratulate the newly-elected leadership of the Bethel Democratic Town Committee and welcome our newest members.

Chair: Matthew Knickerbocker

Vice-chair: Penny Kessler

Secretary: Kelly Clark

Treasurer (incumbent): Rob Stowell

We welcome Myra Drucker, Allison Lynch and Gabriela Hernandez to the Town Committee! We would like to thank outgoing chairman Nick Vitti for his many years of service to Bethel’s Democrats.

We have several conventions coming up, if you would like to volunteer to join in, please sign up HERE.

Reminder- some important dates coming up:

March 19th – Public Hearing on the Municipal & Education Budgets

March 26, 27th & 28 – early voting for the Presidential Primary

April 2nd – Presidential Primary

April 4th – Town Meeting on the Municipal & Education Budgets

April 15th – next Bethel DTC meeting

May 19th – Memorial Day Parade

June 1st – Bethel Pride Parade

If you can volunteer for this town-wide event, please sign up HERE.



A Message from the “Rich Knows Bethel” Campaign

To Bethel Voters,

Special Election Day, Tuesday, February 7th , is almost here. The “Rich Knows Bethel”
Campaign, its campaign manager and, most importantly Rich Straiton, would like
to thank all of our relatives, friends, neighbors, and fellow voters for their

To Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy, to Lieutenant Governor Susan
Bysiewicz, to our Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan, to former First Selectman
Matt Knickerbocker, to State Comptroller Sean Scanlon, and to our neighboring
First Selectmen Rudy Marconi and Don Lowe, your endorsements demonstrate
your confidence in Rich’s ability to be a successful First Selectman.

To the contributors to the campaign, thank you. Your generosity enabled us to
share our message and Rich’s capabilities with the entire voter list.

To Dr. Pat Cosentino, thank you for joining our team and for your willingness to
share your expertise and judgement as we embark on a new chapter of Bethel’s

We had numerous opportunities to counter Republican claims and falsehoods,
but at Rich’s direction stayed “on the high road”.

We are proud of our candidate and look forward to a well-deserved victory on
Tuesday and the opportunity to continue the success of the Knickerbocker-
Straiton administration.




Get to Know Rich Straiton

Get to know Rich Straiton, our acting First Selectman, and candidate for First Selectman in the special election to be held on February 7, 2023.



Early Voting Is on the Ballot This Year!

This year you can have a say on whether Connecticut adopts early voting.

There is an important question on the ballot in Connecticut this year. After you vote for your chosen candidates, don’t forget to look at the margin on the right of the ballot to cast your vote on the early voting question.

The question will look like this:

Make sure your voice is heard!