Student Runs as Republican Candidate for Board of Education
Alexander Levin ’12 is one of several candidates running in today’s election for a position on the Middletown Board of Education. Levin, who made his decision to run this past summer, is competing against 11 candidates for five spots on the Board of Education. Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and the Middletown Republican Town Committee asked him to run for the position after having worked with him for the past three years.
“My reasons for running were because I’ve been living in Middletown for three years and I love it here,” Levin said. “I wanted to give something back to my community. I wanted to give something back to not just Wesleyan but the general Middletown area.”
Levin cited several problems with the current educational system in Middletown as part of the rationale behind his decision to run for office. He specifically mentioned what he sees as a lack of transparency within the Board, describing an incident in which $500,000 of the School board’s budget allegedly went missing. Levin speculated that this money might have gone to the Central Office of the Middletown School System.
“There needs to be transparency; there needs to be accountability,” Levin said. “We also have to work out ways that people can understand the budget and that when money comes into the system it goes directly to the students as opposed to going to the administrators.”
Levin stated that greater transparency in the school system is a major part of his platform. He also called for the Board of Education to make more decisions about policy and greater leadership within the board itself.
Levin described his relative youth when compared to other candidates as a positive aspect of his candidacy. He believes that having graduated from high school recently and as a current college student, he might have a greater understanding of what students are experiencing.
“I graduated high school more recently than anyone running by ten or fifteen years,” Levin said. “I know what it’s like to go through high school and I know how hard it can be. I think I can relate better to students than anyone else. I know what it is like to be a student because I am one.”
Levin has been involved in politics throughout his college career, having served as President of the Wesleyan College Republicans, State Chairman of the Connecticut Union of College Republicans, and treasurer of the College Republican National Committee.
Though not a full-time Middletown resident, Levin did not believe there was any inherent problem with his decision to run for office as a Wesleyan student. He argued that given Middletown and Wesleyan’s close relationship, it is important for students to get involved in the community of Middletown.
“I don’t think there’s any problem with [a Wesleyan student] running for office in Middletown,” Levin said. “We’re dependent on each other, and if students get involved in the community and embrace the idea that Wesleyan and Middletown are really one big community then I don’t think there are any problems at all [with my running].”
The term of office for a position on the Middletown Board of Education is four years. Despite being a senior at the University, Levin, who grew up in Miami, said that he plans to stay in Middletown for at least two years, as he already has a job in Connecticut working on Linda McMahon’s 2012 Campaign for Connecticut Senate.
“I definitely plan on living in Connecticut for the foreseeable future,” Levin said.
Given the lack of polling in local elections, it is currently unclear how the election for the Board of Education will turn out. However, Levin was reasonably optimistic about his and other members of the Republican Town Committee’s chances of winning.
“You never really know about local elections,” Levin said. “But Republicans are very energized about this election, and I think most of them will vote the entire Republican slate, which will definitely help.”
The election for the Board of Education is today and results are expected to be announced this evening.