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Candidates Being Chosen for November Elections

April 4, 2024
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Candidates Being Chosen for November Elections
Jim Zeoli and Mark Moyher

Zeoli, Moyher Running For The Top Seat

Orange Democratic Town Committee chairman Polly Demirjian opened this year’s election season by revealing her nominating committee’s choice for first selectman:  Mark Moyher.  Moyher will challenge long-time First Selectman Jim Zeoli who confirmed that if approved by his Republican caucus in July, he would seek a tenth term in office.

After all these years in office, Zeoli has a lot of accomplishments to point to.  “I run on my record of economic development, repeated mill rate reductions, and preserving the character of the community by purchasing open space,” he wrote in an email.  He also pointed out that he is supportive of the school system, and has partnered with volunteers in the community to develop a new playground at Fred Wolfe Park.

Mark Moyher works in the financial industry, as head of trading at Wright’s Investors Service, and has lived in Orange for a quarter century.  He currently serves on the town’s Recycling Committee.  Two years ago, he ran for the position of tax collector, in an election where the Republican ticket swept town hall, and Moyher lost.

“Orange is not the same as it was 25 years ago,” he said in his acceptance speech, adding, “It can be more.”  By “more” he means more economic development, more services for seniors and young families, more opportunities to gather and socialize.  The theme of “More” is also reflected in his campaign slogan, “MorewithMoyher,” which is linked to his campaign website.

Under Zeoli’s administration, the town has continued the development of the industrial corridor along Prindle Hill, Edison and Marsh Hill roads.  At the same time Zeoli encouraged and facilitated major open space purchases, such as the Turkey Hill Preserve, Race Brook parcel and more recently, the Race Brook Country Club.

“His commitment to the people of Orange is undeniable,” says his website from an earlier campaign.  “Jim has always given freely of his time for Orange, serving as a volunteer fireman for over 20 years, past assistant treasurer of the Volunteer Fire Association and co-chairman of the Orange Agricultural Fair.

While his long tenure and repeated election success show the trust that many voters place into Zeoli and the Republican ticket, it also brings with it its share of criticism, most recently regarding the hobbled expansion of fields at Fred Wolfe Park, where traffic and security issues raised concerns.  But in spite of it, the inclusive playground has gone up, and is nearing completion.

As for Moyher, he says his vision is to see the town continue to flourish.  “I believe the town’s leader should strive to continually improve the quality of life for all residents,” he said.  “We should not live with ‘we have always done things this way’ when there are more proactive and innovative ways to achieve things,” he said when accepting the nomination.

Election Day is five months away, scheduled for Tuesday, November 7.  The caucuses will take place July 18, after which time the real race begins.  “Fundraising will be coming over the summer and fall,” Zeoli said.  He is encouraging people to stop by Town Hall, “where I am the larger part of most days.”

The Democratic Town Committee is planning a ticketed Meet the Candidates picnic on Friday, August 25, at 5:30 p.m. at HPCC Pavilion.  Call Polly at (203) 494-5976 or Melissa at (203) 520-0331 for information.

Moyher on his website lists as his interests DIY home projects, bowling, traveling and golf.  He is a member of the Grassy Hill Country Club Men’s Association.  He plans to go door-to-door to hear what is important to the voters, “so together we can build a better, stronger community for all.”

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