By JEN CARDINES
The election season is officially underway in Southington, as the first candidate has filed for office. On Thursday, July 6, Jack Perry, owner of HQ dumpsters, submitted initial paperwork to the Town Clerk to be considered for a bid for the Southington Town Council.
Municipal elections will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7 for seats on the Council, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Finance, and Water Board, but not one person – except Perry – has announced interest in a position.
Neither Republican nor Democratic candidates have filed the paperwork needed to begin campaign fundraising, which was due by Monday, July 10. The Republican Town Committee is scheduled to hold caucus on Monday, July 24 to endorse candidates, but there is still no word from the Democratic Town Committee about their plans.
Perry, on the other hand, threw his hat into the ring as soon as he could. He has always been registered unaffiliated and said he wants to run for office as such.
“I want to be my own self and not have a party behind me,” he said.
One of Southington’s political parties approached Perry earlier this year with an offer for a BOE spot on the ballot, but he wouldn’t disclose which party.
“I was honored by that,” he said. Ultimately, Perry decided that the Town Council—and running unaffiliated—was a better fit for him.
“I’m not waiting for the election to come,” he said. “I want people to get to know me now.” He said he would’ve filed earlier, but he said he wanted to fully consider the BOE position before finalizing anything.
The 27-year-old is new to politics but not to the Southington community. After graduating from Southington High School in 2008, he created a business plan for the family company (HQ Dumptsters & Recycling, LLC in Plantsville) and hit the ground running. With his father Kurt Holyst and uncle Ralph Holyst, Perry devotes his time to working throughout Southington to “reduce the carbon footprint” with their split-bodied trucks, while also donating thousands of dollars to organizations in the community.
Now, Perry wants to get more involved with the town government to “do what’s best for the town.”
“I’m young,” said Perry. “I want to get involved and be in it for the long haul.”
His focus is on lowering the tax rate, reducing spending, and addressing issues like the drug epidemic.
“The economy drives a lot better when there’s less tax,” Perry said, adding that a few extra dollars in people’s wallets leads to them spending it at restaurants and retailers, which boosts the economy.
With concern to the opioid epidemic, the SHS graduate said he’s lost classmates over the years to overdoses and that he wants to see the problem get better.
Some people told the candidate that it is impossible to win if he runs unaffiliated from a party, but Perry said he has a game plan and already created his “Jack Perry for Town Council” committee. His uncle is the official campaign treasurer and other members of his family and friends have backed him in his decision to run.
“Since I decided to run unaffiliated, I’m getting more support,” said Perry. “Local people are getting tired of the two parties.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Jen Cardines, email her at JCardines@SouthingtonObserver.com.