Benedict A Refreshing Candidate With Guts

Written by The Day Staff Writer.

It is noteworthy that East Lyme Board of Education candidate Lydia Benedict has raised more money in the first month of her campaign than any of the East Lyme first selectman candidates (“Packing star power,” July 10.).
Ms. Benedict has already almost as much cash on hand as the entire town Republican Party. It is difficult to recall the last time a Democrat in East Lyme had this kind of fund-raising capability. No doubt First Selectman Wayne Fraser is relieved that Ms. Benedict is running for the Board of Education rather than first selectman.
The irony here is that East Lyme Democrats did not recruit Ms. Benedict. Even more refreshing, she has no political experience whatsoever. Nevertheless, she has shown guts and determination, both essential qualities for leadership.
At a time when no one else dared, candidate Benedict went toe-to-toe with arguably the most powerful person in town, School Superintendent Jack Reynolds, over the hot-button issue of school-day length. That issue having now been settled, Mr. Reynolds has resigned his position to take a new job in Suffield, while Ms. Benedict is running for a seat on the board that will eventually hire his replacement.
During the school-day length battle, Ms. Benedict was clearly the underdog. But if she continues to show the energy and commitment to issues that she has shown, and if she sustains her ability to raise money, she will be a person to watch in East Lyme politics. And I say, “Good for Lydia Benedict.” The political arena needs more people of integrity like her who are willing to focus on and fight for issues.