New London — Former City Councilor Marie Friess-McSparran is exploring the possibility of running for mayor and on Monday filed paperwork announcing her intent with the city clerk's office.
Friess-McSparran served one term on the City Council and has served as secretary of the city's Economic Development Commission.
"I have worked on committees and commissions and boards and agencies to try to make New London a better place. I continued to do that as a city councilor and would continue to do so if elected mayor," she said Tuesday.
Friess-McSparran, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for re-election to the City Council on the Republican ticket last year, said she intends to run for mayor as a Democrat. Running against fellow Democrat and incumbent Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio, she said, is not a concern.
"If I believed that this administration was moving the city forward in a positive way, I would be supportive of them and continuing their term," she said. "But as a Democrat and as a taxpayer and as a citizen, I am concerned for the future of this city."
Democratic Town Committee Chairman William Satti said Friess-McSparran has not discussed her mayoral run with the party.
"It's surprising to hear that now she wants to come back and ask for the support of Democrats after leaving the party and running as a Republican," Satti said. "I think the people of New London spoke loud and clear by not returning her to the council."
Because the election is still more than a year away, Friess-McSparran said forming an exploratory committee gives her time to decide how to approach a mayoral campaign.
"I just want to make sure that the people who supported me and continue to support me know I haven't given up on the city," Friess-McSparran said. "I feel that there can be a lot of positive work done, and we could be in a much better place today than we actually are."