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Caroline Simmons officially sworn in as mayor of Stamford

Caroline Simmons addresses crowd at the Stamford Government Center after being sworn in as the first female mayor of the city of Stamford.
Camila Vallejo
Connecticut Public Radio
Caroline Simmons addresses the crowd at the Stamford Government Center after being sworn in as the first female mayor of the city of Stamford.

Caroline Simmons made history Wednesday morning as the first woman to lead the state’s second-largest city.

“To all of the women and girls in our city, today is for you,” said Simmons as she delivered her swearing-in remarks in front of a packed lobby at the Stamford Government Center. “I know today as I take this oath that I’m just picking up a torch that many of you have been carrying for a long time and that the young girls watching today will be picking up long after me.”

The former state representative beat two-term incumbent Mayor David Martin in a primary. She then faced sports celebrity Bobby Valentine, who ran as an independent, in a close race called by absentee ballots.

“In the coming weeks, I will be rolling up my sleeves and getting to work on policies to advance the priorities highlighted during our campaign, investing in infrastructure and education, advancing economic prosperity, improving government responsiveness and making our city a more affordable and equitable place for everyone,” Simmons said.

Simmons was joined by several state officials, including Gov. Ned Lamont and state Attorney General William Tong -- who privately and publicly swore her in.

The 35-year-old Democrat took the oath of office alongside her two toddlers and her husband, former Republican state Sen. Art Linares.

“Caroline was an amazing state legislator for so many reasons, not the least of which is everybody liked her because she liked everyone,” Lamont said. “She reached across the aisle. And in a place with a lot of sharp elbows, she was amazing. She is a perfect fit for Stamford.”

Her father, Steve Simmons, echoed similar sentiments. He said he’s seen her succeed on the athletic field, in the classroom and in state government. So the mayor’s office won’t be any different.

“I feel today as a father so proud, so fulfilled and so excited,” Steve Simmons said. “Excited for my daughter and also for the city of Stamford because they are getting someone who is completely dedicated to the city and the people who live in it.”

Camila Vallejo is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. She is a bilingual reporter based out of Fairfield County and welcomes all story ideas at cvallejo@ctpublic.org.

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