Karen Fortunati challenges incumbent for Milford city clerk post

Karen Fortunati, Democrat, candidate for Milford City Clerk.

Karen Fortunati, Democrat, candidate for Milford City Clerk.

Karen Fortunati / Contributed photo

Karen Fortunati, a Democrat, is challenging the incumbent for the position of Miford city clerk.

Fortunati is currently serving her first term on the Board of Aldermen in the fifth district, having been elected in 2017.

A public programs manager at the Pequot Library in Southport, Fortunati has several degrees, including a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and a master’s degree in American Studies from Trinity College.

She is a former prosecutor specializing in narcotics and juvenile offenders and a former attorney specializing in criminal defense.

Fortunati is also an author. In 2016, she published a young adult novel, The Weight of Zero, which shows the path to hope and life for a girl who suffers from bipolar disorder.

She announced during her party’s convention her plans to run for city clerk. Joanne Lasse Rohrig is the incumbent Republican city clerk.

“I envision the city clerk’s office to be the hub for our city government, a welcoming and accessible destination, whether you’re applying for a marriage license or looking through historic city records,” Fortunati said. “Too few people know what the city clerk does. My goal is to make the office accessible, transparent and informative.”

In addition to serving as a city alderman for the fifth district, Fortunati is chairman of the Milford Recycling Task Force, serves on the Bridges Healthcare board of directors, and is co-chair of the 2019 Bridges Folks on Spokes fundraiser.

Fortunati is also former president of the Downtown Milford Business Association and a member of the Friends of the Milford Library.

“I am honored to join my friend Mayor Blake as his running mate,” Fortunati said. “Over the past several years we have developed a productive and effective relationship, working on behalf of the people of Milford. We have made incredible progress and I look to continuing that work with the support of Milford’s voters.”

Fortunati received overwhelming support to run for the seat from her party during a convention earlier this year.

Democratic Alderman Bryan Anderson nominated her, describing her as enthusiastic, intelligent, competent, and with a spirit of volunteerism. School board Chairman Susan Glennon seconded the nomination, saying that Fortunati is a relative newcomer to Milford and the Democratic Town Committee but quickly made her mark on the community.

“I feel she is who we need in this position and she will excel at it,” Glennon said.

Fortunati, who moved to Milford about six years ago, said that while she learned a lot as an alderman, the thing that has most impressed her are the people in Milford.

“The thing that links all of us is the great love for this city, and that is what inspired me to take the next step,” Fortunati said during her party’s convention.

Fortunati has been married for 23 years to her husband, Frank, who is the medical director of Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. The couple’s daughter is a graduate of American University and works for a transportation nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., and their son is majoring in business at Catholic University.