Jul. 27—GLASTONBURY — Stewart "Chip" Beckett, a former Republican Town Council chairman and minority leader who left the party late last year to protest votes by Republican members of Congress to overturn the results of November's presidential election, is petitioning to run for re-election to the council.
"I believe I have enough signatures to qualify," Beckett said Monday, adding that his listing on the ballot will depend on verification of the signatures by the town clerk's office.
When Beckett left the Republican Party last year, he joined Connecticut's Independent Party. But he said no third party has been listed on the Glastonbury ballot in the past.
He said he hasn't heard of any other member of the Independent Party running for office in Glastonbury this year.
WHO: Glastonbury Councilman Stewart "Chip" Beckett.
WHAT: Is petitioning to run for re-election in November as an Independent Party candidate.
WHY: He switched parties last year from Republican to Independent.
Beckett, a veterinarian who has been on the council since 2005, said he has always been focussed on "excellent services and keeping costs down," adding that he thinks the council "has been pretty successful at that."
He said he would like to see more residential development downtown, with "mixed-use" buildings that include both commercial and residential spaces.
Developers have presented preliminary plans for a large mixed-use development that would replace three commercial blocks on the west side of Main Street just south of the Hebron Avenue intersection.
Beckett said he doesn't like the traffic flow in the proposed development and thinks it needs a parking structure. He predicted that the preliminary plans aren't what will ultimately be built.
But he also said, "Some of the worst fears of apartments are just not true," adding that most people have lived in an apartment at some point in their lives.
"I don't think they're bad neighbors," he said of apartment dwellers.
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