In this year’s Mansfield municipal election, voters elected recent University of Connecticut graduate and unaffiliated petitioning candidate Caitlin Briody to a town council position, according to preliminary election results. Briody’s election marks the first time a petitioning candidate has won a council seat since the town began its council-manager government form in 1973.
“This is unprecedented, but I think it speaks to what Mansfield residents want. They want someone who will weigh options objectively and consider issues individually,” Briody said in an email. “It’s cool to make history and everything, but now the real work starts. I’m excited.”
Briody graduated from UConn in 2017 with honors and a double major in sociology and political science, she said. She now works in marketing at United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and directs theatre at E.O. Smith High School.
Briody said she ran for a town council position because she wishes to participate in politics and assist her hometown.
“I’ve been interested in getting more actively involved in politics for a while now, and there’s been a lot of incivility in politics at all levels recently,” Briody said. “So I thought, I may not be able to take on the whole world, but I can at least serve my hometown and take care of my community. And if not now, when?”
According to Briody, her aims as a town councilor are to bring new businesses to town to ensure continued economic growth, to protect Mansfield’s environment and rural foundation and to guarantee seniors have access to a good standard of living.
Briody said she also hopes to secure the quality of Mansfield schools, to make the town increasingly affordable for working families and to create a stronger relationship between Mansfield and UConn.
“For me, it’s really about fostering a sense of community,” Briody said. “That’s what I love about living in a small town, and that’s the mindset that I hope to bring with me: that even if we disagree, we can accomplish more when we focus on working toward a common goal.”
Alexandra Retter is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.