The Ansonia Democratic Town Committee nominated a 31-year-old political newcomer to run for mayor Thursday in a move party leaders say is infusing new energy into their ranks.
Tarek Raslan accepted the nomination at the town committee’s caucus at Hilltop Hose Co. in a speech highlighting the potential he sees in Ansonia.
“What inspired me to run for mayor is looking into the future, and trying to figure out how small cities like ours might have a shot at competing with cities around the world,” Raslan said.
Raslan and his wife, Tamsin, moved to Ansonia in 2015 because they saw it as “the most undervalued real estate anywhere on the Metro North line,” he said.
“So instead of buying one house, I bought three, each of them the worst house on the street,” said Raslan, a real estate broker for Trusted Properties, a company he founded.
Raslan became involved in the town committee when he settled in Ansonia, and immediately became active in his North End neighborhood. He said in 2015 he organized Friends of the Gatison Park, which has worked to clean up and bring more people to the park between 3rd and 4th streets.
The effort brought members of that neighborhood together to start making changes. The same process needs to take place across town, Raslan said.
“I tell you this story to highlight that in order to succeed as a city, it takes more than construction and real estate development,” Raslan said. “It requires an inspiration to come together.”
David Knapp, the Democratic Town Committee chair, called Raslan “bright, young and energetic” and “a man of dignity” in his nomination speech.
“He could have moved anywhere in the state of Connecticut, but he chose Ansonia because he saw the potential here,” Knapp said.
Beth Lynch, who was nominated by the party to run for Town Clerk, seconded the nomination.
“He’s made himself an outstanding member of our committee,” Lynch said.
Raslan kept his speech focused on the positive, and only mentioned incumbent Mayor David Cassetti in response to questions from reporters. Raslan said Cassetti’s tax plan is “unsustainable,” citing similar numbers the Democratic Town Committee outlined in a February guest column.
Raslan said his experience as a financial analyst and real estate developer will be invaluable in City Hall. He also said he could “creatively advertise” the city using experience in marketing.
Before starting his own real estate company, Raslan worked in CitiBank, “brand equity research” company MillwardBrown and IT Properties, a real estate broker, according to his LinkedIn resume. His resume notes that he received a bachelor’s degree in business/managerial economics from Northeastern University in 2010.
After ending his speech, Raslan stood in front of the exit door and passed out a glossy color bio-sheet, and asked people to sign up to volunteer for his campaign.
It was an immediate call to action after one of the last lines of his speech.
“If you want to see change in the world, it starts right here in our backyards,” Raslan said.
The following people were nominated by the Democratic Town Committee:
Board of Education
First Ward Aldermen
Edward J. Adamowski
Second Ward Aldermen
Shain D. Edmonds
Third Ward Aldermen
Gary F. Farrar
Jason St. Jacques
Fourth Ward Aldermen
Fifth Ward Aldermen
Sennea E. Raslan
Sixth Ward Aldermen
James D. Hubbard
Seventh Ward Aldermen
Kevin M. Blake