The six candidates for seats on the Board of Selectmen. / Photo collage, Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce

WESTPORT — The Nov. 2 municipal election is less than a month away, with the campaign highlighted by the race for first selectman.

And a lineup of candidate debates, sponsored by local civic groups, is taking shape.

Regardless of the winner of the first selectman contest, the town will have a new chief elected officer for the first time in eight years. The incumbent, Republican Jim Marpe, is not running for re-election after two terms in the job.

Three contenders for first selectman this year are:

  • The GOP ticket is led by Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker, with running mate Andrea Moore, the Board of Finance vice chairwoman.
  • Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg is seeking the top job, with Candice Savin, the Board of Education chairwoman, as his running mate.
  • The Libertarian ticket includes TJ Elgin, founder of a founded an agricultural nonprofit and brewmaster, for first selectman, and Louis D’Onofrio Jr., a nurse practitioner, for selectman.

The first of the debates scheduled to date will take place next Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Westport Library, co-sponsored with the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce. It will be moderated by Matthew Mandell, the chamber’s executive director.

The debate will take place at noon before an audience in the library. A limited number of free tickets is available and can be reserved here. Attendees must comply with current COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The WWCC/library debate also will be televised live on the town’s Channel 79 and can be watched via stream on Vimeo here. It also will be recorded for later viewing.

On Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., the Westport Library will host a debate on environmental issues, in conjunction with Earthplace and Sustainable Westport, for the six Board of Selectmen candidates.

And the League of Women Voters of Westport will host two debates — Oct. 25 and 26 — for the Board of Selectmen contenders as well as candidates for other major town boards. Both debates start at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

On Monday, Oct. 25, the lineup for the first LWV debate will include candidates running for first selectman, Board of Assessment Appeals and Board of Finance.

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, candidates running for selectman, Board of Education and the Planning and Zoning Commission will debate. Seats on the Zoning Board of Appeals are not contested this year and those candidates have not been invited to debate, according to LWV organizers