The race for the Darien Board of Education is now contested as the Republican Town Committee found a second candidate to endorse.
Along with incumbent Michael Harman, who serves as the board secretary and chairman of the budget committee, the RTC unanimously endorsed David "Duke" Dineen.
"Michael Harman and David Dineen bring a combination of Board of Education experience, private and community leadership and a commitment to deliver the best education to all of our town's children," James Palen, chairman of the RTC, said. "These are two individuals who have developed successful private careers and will bring their proven leadership skills to the Board of Education. We look forward to working with Michael and David and their broad base of supporters in town during this fall's campaign and ask that you do the same."
Harman and Dineen will challenge Democrats Tony Imbimbo and Mike Burke to fill three seats on the board.
Democrat Heather Shea and Republican Morgan Whittier will not seek re-election in November.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Education at this critical juncture," Dineen said in a news release. "My intention is to listen to the administration/faculty, parents, students and fellow board members, and to actively participate in the conversation around the current challenges while also building on the solid foundation of work that has been accomplished. The areas I will focus on include hiring the best Superintendent possible, ensuring our program review process and reporting metrics address all aspects of our educational system, and building a strong communication plan based on trust and transparency."
Dineen has lived in Darien for 17 years with his wife, Ashley, and their three children, who attend Tokeneke Elementary School and St. Luke's School.
Dineen served two years on the Environmental Protection Commission and eight years as a volunteer Darien firefighter, and serves as treasurer for Darien Revitalization Inc.
Harman has lived in Darien with his family for 13 years and has two children attending Tokeneke and Darien High School.
"I look forward to continuing to serve our community on the Board of Education as we move forward with some very significant projects," Harman said in a news release. "The most important priorities for the board will include the continued reorganization of the special education program, the hiring of new permanent administration, the implementation of the teacher evaluation program and the development of a strategic facilities plan that will address the schools current and future infrastructure needs."
Harman was elected to the Board of Education in November 2011 after serving two years on the Representative Town Meeting and on its Education Committee. He has volunteered for the Darien Soccer Association for more than 10 years.