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Danbury Board of Ed member seeks to unseat Democrat in 24th state Senate District

Republican Danbury Board of Education member Michelle Coelho is looking to unseat Democratic incumbent Julie Kushner in the 24th state Senate district.  Coelho is a design project coordinator, one of the initial developers of The Rivington.  The mother of three is a Cuban American. 

During the pandemic, she was concerned about an erosion of parental rights, which prompted her to run for the Board of Ed.  She was then surprised to learn there was no curriculum committee, which there is now.  She says a lot is coming down the pike with the new Career Academy, Social Emotional Learning and other mandates.  She wants to make sure there are safeguards for kids. 

She prefers supporting the proposed public charter school over the Open Choice program, which would allow 50 students from Danbury to attend school in a neighboring district.  Coelho says a one-size fits all approach on education, zoning and other matters won't work.  She called for keeping control local. 

Coelho called Candlewood Lake an asset and wants to make sure it's protected, including from algae and invasive aquatic species. 

Coelho was endorsed by the Connecticut Fraternal Order of Police.  She says the Police Accountability Bill was another reason she got into the race.  She would repeal the portion of the law that got rid of qualified immunity.  If a car for example is stolen and used in a shoplifting incident, Coelho says the only thing police can do is escort them off the property because they can't engage in pursuit.  She says that should be revised. 

Coelho would support early voting, as long as people still have to present ID or prove their identity.