David Rafferty, Greenwich Time, January 18, 2020

For years, Greenwichites from Cos Cob, Riverside, North Mianus, Backcountry, Old Greenwich even Greenwich proper, have repeatedly gone to the polls to return favorite son Fred Camillo to the state legislature. What made Fred so appealing to many voters was his personal story: the local boy made good; a man who has lived in and understands the community. Say what you want about Fred Camillo’s politics, no one would every accuse him of not having Greenwich’s best interests at heart.

But now Fred is our new first selectman, and we need to elect a new state representative this Tuesday. And in this run up to the election, I’ve been hearing about one candidate wanting to “follow in Fred Camillo’s footsteps.” OK, but if that’s what voters are looking for, it’s likely they’re looking in the wrong place.

Because while this race isn’t just about who can be Fred 2.0, Cheryl Moss ticks off all the right boxes most voters are looking for. Born and raised here in Greenwich. Multi-generational local small business owner. Committed to helping the community both as a Representative Town Meeting district chairman and as a passionate volunteer. That’s just one side of the coin, however. With a degree in Economics, Cheryl cut her teeth in banking, but left for jobs in environmental consulting, wanting to make a positive impact on the world. Cheryl is the candidate that Greenwichites know and respect through years of committed local involvement.

Meanwhile, Harry Arora, the man who would be Fred, has given nobody in town any good reason to vote for him except that he’s a Republican, and absolutely NOT a Democrat. Except, he kinda is. Which is weird, because Arora insists that he and his wife’s registering as Democrats in 2008, and then again in 2010, was some kind of mistake. But see, according to public records, while his wife became a Republican in 2012, in 2016 Harry actually voted in the national Democratic primary. I’ve never met anyone who voted in the “wrong” primary by mistake.

Other not particularly good reasons to vote for Harry? Well, he and his enablers want to tout his business acumen and experience, but the biggest names on his resume include leadership positions at Enron and Amaranth Advisors, one of which might just be the greatest criminal business failure, ever. It’s hardly a stretch to say that the collapse of these companies presaged the global economic recession of 2007-2008, in part because of the way they played fast and loose with the rules as well as the truth. Additionally, the detonating of both Enron and Amaranth had direct impacts on Greenwich investors as well as municipal, teacher and other civil service pension funds. Something Connecticut taxpayers are still making up for with increased taxes.

Then there’s Harry’s trashing of our local, non-partisan League of Women Voters with a cocked up story about “impartiality” as a ploy to avoid debating issues with Cheryl. More likely it was to dodge questions about his time as a Democrat or working for a Ponzi scheme. He might also have been asked to defend his questionable assertion that he’s committed to focusing his energies on serving the public good and the community.

Questionable, because there’s no public record of Harry Arora ever doing anything to serve the public good or give back to the community — no volunteer positions, no local board service — between the time he got stomped by Jim Himes in the race for Congress in 2017 and now. Glowing letter to the editor testimonials aside, it doesn’t really seem like Harry cares about being involved in the community. The facts point to him being a carpetbagging Republican of convenience with the typical magic beans approach to jobs and the economy, who likely wants this job only as a stepping-stone to the next big thing.

Greenwich voters have been clear: while we want good “big picture” people in Hartford, we also want representatives who care about our town, who are engaged in our town and who will look out for our town. Just like Fred did. In this race though, the man to pick up that mantle isn’t a man at all. It’s the woman.

David Rafferty is a Greenwich resident.

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The Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board, Jan. 18, 2020

There are far more people paying attention to Tuesday’s special election in Greenwich than will show up at the polls.

It’s more than a matter of who will replace Fred Camillo after 11 years as state representative in District 151, which includes parts of Riverside, Old Greenwich, Cos Cob and North Mianus. It’s the next chapter in a story of the town’s shifting political character.

On the surface, it is Republican candidate Harry Arora’s race to lose, as the GOP has a 25-percent voter registration advantage over Democrats in the district and a century of dominance. The popular Camillo won the last race in 2018 with more than 56 percent of the vote.

That victory came despite historic Democratic victories by Alex Bergstein for the town’s state Senate seat and Stephen Meskers in the 150th House District.

Still, Camillo’s edge eroded from 66 percent in 2012 to 60 percent in 2016 (he ran unopposed in 2014). And Arora’s only name recognition comes from his loss to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes in 2018. The eventual outcome could be determined by the largest political faction in the district, the unaffiliated voters.

Though this race should not be about who best emulates Camillo, Arora and Democrat Cheryl Moss represent different facets of his profile. Despite switching his registration from Democrat to Republican to run against Himes, Arora is decidedly conservative in vision. Moss, meanwhile, has the street cred of a lifetime in Greenwich.

We are not fans of politicians who seek to launch their careers on third base, as Arora did against Himes, but that doesn’t diminish his willingness to enter a political arena few dare to consider. As an immigrant from India, he also offers diversity that the town rarely sees in state races. His true shortcoming is a blank resume on local causes, while Moss has been a celebrated volunteer with the Greenwich High School swim and water polo programs and the Greenwich Land Trust and Garden Education Center, a PTA member and a member of the Representative Town Meeting.

What gives us pause is that Arora sounds like he’s running for governor while Moss sounds like she’s seeking a spot on the Board of Selectmen. It’s not uncommon for political candidates in Connecticut to aspire to mend the state’s bleeding economy, but the person who fills this seat in Hartford must be able to identify local matters of concern while being empathetic to needs in other municipalities.

We appreciate the energy Arora would bring to Hartford, but his vision needs more clarity than merely calling for cuts to the budgets of unspecified departments.

Arora’s resume as a former Enron executive does not help his cause, while Moss’s experience as a small business owner could offer a vital voice on several issues.

Either way, we welcome hearing from a fresh voice in the General Assembly, but at this time the voice we want to hear from belongs to Cheryl Moss.

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Updated: Jan 19, 2020

Letter to the editor submitted by Iain Edmundson, Greenwich High School class of 2015, January 6, 2020, Greenwich Free Press

As a lifelong resident of Greenwich, I have spent the majority of my time involved in varying swim programs throughout the community, such as those at the YMCA and Greenwich High School. Over the years, I have gotten to know Cheryl Moss very well, having swum with all three of her children.

During my time knowing Cheryl, her commitment to the success of not only her children but also the programs and community members as a whole, has been incomparable.

From leading fundraising efforts to volunteering to help run competitions, Cheryl’s additional commitment was exceptional and vital to the successes of these programs.

However, as a lifelong citizen of Greenwich herself, Cheryl knows that this community’s commitment to each other transcends institutional boundaries; Cheryl time and again has shown her selfless and unabating commitment to our community’s values.

This assistance has taken countless forms, such as cooking meals for a family who had lost a loved one, housing kids when both parents were away for work and taking on additional responsibilities when others were incapacitated due to their health.

Through it all, I have been stunned by her ability to handle conflict with grace and, in the process, connect with people who have different opinions.

Despite Cheryl’s strong conviction for her well-developed beliefs and values, her uncompromising commitment to cultivating a unified and prosperous community has enabled her to develop into an incredible negotiator and trustworthy leader.

At a time when our political system seems to be at an impasse, Cheryl Moss is the clear choice for the State Representative of Connecticut’s 151st District.

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