Michael Handler, New Canaan Republican, Takes Major Step Forward in CT Gubernatorial Bid

New Canaan resident Michael Handler is poised to take an important step forward in his bid for the Connecticut governor’s seat, as his campaign announced Monday that it has surpassed a key fundraising threshold. By exceeding $250,000 in qualifying contributions—none of which came from lobbyists or state contractors—the Republican is expected to qualify for public financing under the Citizens’ Election Program or ‘CEP.’

“I am extremely proud of the support that our campaign continues to receive,” Handler said in a press release. “Clearly, our message is resonating—the challenges we face as a state are fixable. I will address our threatening fiscal situation, reduce taxes and excessive regulations, and attract new businesses to our state. As CFO of Stamford, I fixed the mess Dan Malloy left behind after 14 years as mayor.

Power Restored to Nearly All New Canaan Homes [UPDATING]

Update 8:30 a.m. Wednesday

All but 26 New Canaan homes had power back on Wednesday morning, following high-wind storms overnight into Monday that brought down power lines throughout the town, according to Eversource. New Canaan Department of Emergency Management Director Mike Handler said at 8 p.m. Tuesday, as trick-or-treaters hit the streets in town, that New Canaan had “made significant progress towards power restoration” with just 73 homes remaining without power. “The not so good news is that most of these are single outages, which as we know from experience take longer to restore,” Handler said. “Eversource crews are working this evening in the following areas: Bank Street, White Oak Shade Road, Thurton Drive, and Betsy’s Lane. While some homes might take longer, Eversource is now estimating substantial restoration by 6 p.m. [Wednesday] evening.

Did You Hear … ?

Police fined an Elm Street business $200 after it was found noncompliant during an unannounced tobacco and electronic cigarette inspection. A-1 Cellars, a liquor store at 282 Elm St., was cited for sale of tobacco to a minor and sale of an e-cigarette to a minor following the Oct. 20 inspection, which the New Canaan Police Department conducted with the state. Retailers found to be in compliance included Stewarts Spirits, Walgreens, Vegetable Barn Mobil Marts on South Avenue and the Merritt Parkway, Veggie Barn, Acme and Gulf station. ***

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved 3-0 the hiring of Christopher Wegrzyn as town sanitarian in the New Canaan Health Department, succeeding Carla DeLucia in the role.

‘It’s Been Incredibly Humbling’: New Canaan’s Handler Ranks Among Top Republican Gubernatorial Candidates in Individual Contributions for Q3

Michael Handler during the past three months—the first filing period for the New Canaan Republican since announcing in July that he was running for governor—raised more than $116,000 in individual contributions from about 1,200 people. While the $116,985 figure places Handler among the most successful GOP candidates seeking the state’s top-elected seat next year, it’s the second number—representing 1,199 individuals who have contributed to his campaign—for which the town resident said he feels most grateful. “It’s been incredibly humbling, and it has been remarkable,” Handler told NewCanaanite.com. “The sessions that I have been having have given me a lot of hope that people are focused on the issues. They are receptive to solutions and they are drawn to somebody who not only identifies what the problems are and share their vision, but also can very tangibly touch on the solutions they’re looking for.

New Canaan Republican Michael Handler Announces Candidacy for Governor

Touting his work in getting Stamford on stronger financial footing, New Canaan Republican Michael Handler announced Monday that he’s making a bid for Connecticut’s highest elected office. Employed as director of administration for Stamford and serving as director of Emergency Management in New Canaan, Handler is known to thousands of local households as the recorded voice that advises residents about rescue efforts, shelter options, safety precautions and road closures during and after major storms.

Handler, 47, filed for a candidate committee for the office of governor July 14 and the state on Tuesday approved his filing, he said. Describing himself as “hands on” and with background in investments and finance in the private sector who also has “a very strong background in public safety” and the public sector, “having dedicated myself to public office in Stamford for the last five years,” Handler said he’s already achieved success in areas that now are of pressing concern for the state, such as negotiating multiple contracts with unions. “I have, more than anybody else out there, the experience of understanding what the prior administrations have done to Stamford financially and how to clean it up,” Handler told NewCanaanite.com. “The most critical issues facing Connecticut are primarily fiscal, and there is no question that governors for many years have failed to address the State’s structural costs and instead opted to kick the can down the road,” Handler said.