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Flatto to Seek Comptroller Office

There may be a new world for Ken Flatto to conquer. The man who has served as Fairfield’s first selectman since 2001 announced his candidacy for state comptroller Monday afternoon. He hopes to succeed a fellow Democrat, Nancy Wyman, who last week was chosen to run for lieutenant governor on a ticket headed by former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy.

“There are some serious reasons why I’m the best candidate,” Flatto told a gathering of supporters in front of Old Town Hall. “I am the only candidate who is a CPA, and the only candidate who can say, in 30 years, I have been a controller at all levels … corporate, non-profit, municipal.”

He cited the accomplishments of his administration, notably the Town’s Triple-A financial rating and its recent ranking as an outstanding community in which to live by Connecticut Magazine and CNN/Money magazine. He also spoke of overseeing a town budget that exceeds “one-quarter of a billion dollars.”

Some detractors point to the Bernard L. Madoff scandal, which cost the town’s pension fund millions of dollars, but Flatto wasn’t in office when the Pension Fund board invested with Madoff.

In a political landscape that seems to change daily, there are two other Democratic candidates for state comptroller: Kevin Lembo, of Guilford, a former assistant state comptroller and now Connecticut’s healthcare advocate, and state Rep. Tom Reynolds, D-42, of Gales Ferry.

When the news of Wyman’s plans surfaced, Flatto indicated that “for the first 24 hours, I didn’t think that much about it.” But then he began to receive calls from friends and Democratic leaders, telling him to “think about it.” “You have the financial credentials,” he was told.

What was the clincher? “Probably my party leadership,” Flatto said. “We will help you and go all out for you.”

Prior to his arrival in Fairfield, Flatto served as comptroller and chief financial officer for Orangetown, N.Y., and deputy controller and interim controller for Yonkers, N.Y. He was also the controller for an environmental organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council. He began his career with Touche Ross & Co., CPAs.

The second longest-serving first selectman in Fairfield history earned an MBA from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University. He and his wife are the parents of four children.

"As much as I love Fairfield, and I love what I'm doing, this is a unique opportunity, so I've decided to explore (a candidacy for) the position for state comptroller. I've taken the first steps," he said.

The Democratic state nominating convention will take place Friday and Saturday at the Connecticut Expo Center in Hartford.

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