Mansfield Mayor Paul Shapiro said the fact that there are two unaffiliated petitioning candidates running for council positions makes this election unique. “For the first time since we began our council-manager form of government in 1973, we have independent candidates running, and that changes the dynamic,” Shapiro said. “The independent candidates have made this a real election, where the voters have real choices, and that’s a good thing for Mansfield.” The two write-in candidates are both fifth-semester University of Connecticut students and Undergraduate Student Government (USG) members.
Hinton, a fifth-semester political science and law science and technology major in the accelerated law program, is running for Mansfield Town Council as an unaffiliated write-in candidate.
Hinton said her current position as Undergraduate Student Government (USG) External Affairs Chair gives her experience with working within the town and representing student issues.
Hinton said she hopes to help make policies and regulations that ensure students’ voices are heard if elected.
“Students make up 50 percent of the (Mansfield) community,” Hinton said. “We currently aren’t heard within the community and we want to fix students’ problems.”
Hinton said that running as an unaffiliated candidate is important when representing a large student body.
“(I) have gotten a lot of support from town council members,” Hinton said. “As well as from the students.”
Hinton said she wishes to be involved in the Mansfield community.
“We want to take part in local events and community outreach,” Hinton said.
Hinton said she has lived in Mansfield for the duration of her time at UConn and plans to stay here for the foreseeable future.
“I’m staying here for the Law program and plan on being here for a while,” Hinton said.
Mortimer, a fifth-semester economics and math major, is running for Mansfield Town Council as an unaffiliated write-in candidate.
Mortimer said his position as the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Vice Chair for Town Affairs provides him with many opportunities to reach out to the town on the student body’s behalf.
“We saw problems that had to be fixed,” Mortimer said. “They don’t have students’ interests in mind when making policy.”
Mortimer said one of his top priorities is to provide a closer relationship between the students and the town.
“We don’t want decisions made by just town officials,” Mortimer said. “UConn should have a say in decisions made in the town of Mansfield.”
Mortimer said he wants to ensure that students’ voices are heard when regulations that affect them are made.
“(Zoning regulations) need to be made that target problematic students, not all students,” Mortimer said. “We have been held hostage by policy making.”
Mortimer said he is working hard to understand the town of Mansfield so he can grow as a candidate.
“I feel like this is a better time than ever to run,” Mortimer said. “There are many issues that (on which I) would like to make sure students’ voices are represented.”
Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.