Norwich - A petition by Libertarian mayoral candidate William Russell has been certified by the city clerk's office, making him the fourth official candidate in the mayoral race thus far.
Russell, 60, will be in a rematch of sorts, as he unsuccessfully ran for state representative in 2000 against then-incumbent Republican 46th District state Rep. Peter Nystrom, the incumbent Norwich mayor who is seeking re-election.
Two Democrats, Alderman Charles Jaskiewicz and Alderwoman Deberey Hinchey, are vying for the party nomination this summer and could be headed for a primary.
Russell said his platform is straightforward: that Norwich taxes are "way too high" and city government too big. He said his own property taxes have risen from $2,100 to $4,300 from 2005 to 2012.
Russell hopes to recruit a full slate of six council candidates to run on the Libertarian ballot line and will hold an open meeting today at Olde Tymes Restaurant to meet voters and recruit candidates. Interested candidates are asked to attend.
The Libertarian candidates would need signed petitions from 49 registered Norwich voters to place them on the ballot. Russell submitted a petition with 60 names, but 10 were disqualified either as nonregistered voters or as being illegible. Russell said he collected the signatures in about six hours, mostly by canvassing his Laurel Hill neighborhood.
"Nystrom says 'I've got the experience,'" Russell said. "I say 'OK, with your experience, my taxes have doubled.' We need to lower the taxes, lower the size of government. Right now with the Democrats and the Republicans, the only thing they are accomplishing is growing government, and we need to shrink it, and I mean shrink it dramatically."
Russell and his wife of 41 years, Carolyn Russell, moved to Norwich in 1981. He has worked for Superior Lamp selling long-lasting lightbulbs for business and home use for the past eight years.