A 29-year-old lawyer hopes to capture one of two open City Council seats in this fall’s municipal election to win the right to represent Forestville and south Bristol for the next two years.
Kate Matthews said the revitalization of the center of Forestville would be one of her top priorities.
Matthews, a Democrat, also said that she’d like to crack the all-male council because “it would be great to get a woman’s voice” on the six-person panel again.
Both incumbents in the 3rd District, Democrats Frank Nicastro and Craig Minor, have said they won’t seek re-election in November.
Until Matthews announced her intention this week, Republican newcomer Derek Czenczelewski was the only contender to take their place for the part-time, $10,000-a-year post.
One other potential candidate, Democrat Terry Parker, said he plans to declare his intention to run next month.
Mathews, who has a 2-year-old daughter named Anna, said she wants to “help my neighbors” and bring her problem-solving skills to bear on critical city issues.
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Matthews “reminds me of me” as she enters the political arena with a young daughter at her side. She told Matthews this week that she can run a successful campaign and raise her family, too.
Matthews hasn’t run for office before, but knows her way around politics. She also knows the town.
A 1998 Bristol Eastern High School graduate, Matthews earned her bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in philosophy and political science four years later.
In 2005, she graduated from the University of Connecticut Law School, got married to Peter Matthews and passed the bar to become an attorney.
“I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer,” Matthews said.
She currently practices construction litigation for a firm in Hartford.
“I’m almost a lifelong Bristol resident,” Matthews said, because she moved away during her college years. But she moved back to town after her marriage, she said, and now lives just nine houses up the block from her parents.
“We moved back because there’s a lot about Bristol that I love,” Matthews said.
The 3rd District spans the southern third of Bristol. It is one of three council districts in town, each with two representatives. They serve two-year terms. The election is Nov. 3.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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