Like Son, Like Father–Mike Herbst To Run For Trumbull First Selectman

The one town that’s literally and figuratively connected to Bridgeport is its tree-lined neighbor to the north Trumbull, where its politics can also be something of a contact sport with bizarre twists and turns that can cause whiplash. Just about everyone from Trumbull has roots in Bridgeport and that includes the Herbst family whose son Tim served as Republican first selectman from 2009-2017 that also comprised a close run for state treasurer in 2014 and a primary loss for governor in 2018.

From May 2013, Trumbull High Athletic Director Mike Herbst hugs baseball player Casey Mack during FCIAC Baseball Championship semi-final action at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. CT Post photo courtesy Christian Abraham.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, a Democrat who won the open seat two years ago, faces reelection this year. Word from Trumbull Republican sources say a guy named Herbst polled the best against Tesoro in a recent survey. No, not Tim Herbst. His father Mike.

Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro.

Like son, like father? Mike Herbst is expected to make a formal announcement for first selectman on Monday.

He issued this statement Friday night:

“I have led teams my entire life and I am ready to lead Team Trumbull. My wife and I came to Trumbull in 1977 and I served in our school system under seven first selectmen. No matter their political affiliation, I was proud of how each demonstrated leadership and focused on moving the town forward.

“Throughout the generations we have worked together to build one of the strongest school systems in the state, worked to keep taxes in check, worked to grow our local economy and most important, we have protected the character of the town with common sense and forward-thinking zoning.”

When 29-year-old Tim Herbst, now practicing law, ran for first selectman in 2009 his father was better known than the son. (Full disclosure: I served as a campaign strategist to Tim Herbst during his first three runs for first selectman. I’m not advising his father.)

Mike Herbst, 66, served for nearly 40 years as teacher, coach and athletic director in the Trumbull school system. Trumbull Republicans had urged him to run for first selectman years prior to his son. He eschewed the overtures to remain in the education system.

Now retired, Mike Herbst has plenty of time to campaign. Mike Herbst was schooled for coaching by legendary Trumbull football coach Jerry McDougall. Team Herbst is one competitive family, be it sports or politics.

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8 comments

  1. The poll asked if you thought less of Mike because Tim was his son.
    Tom has a number of active lawsuits (on behalf of clients) against the town and last week threatened another suit.
    The poll also left off half the name of a sitting Town Council member so she was not recognized by many.

    Beware: if Mike gets elected Tim will be bucking to be Town Attorney and run the show .

    And….what about the thousands of dollars in student pay to play money that didn’t get deposited all year and showed upon Mike’s desk in June?
    Real trust issue

  2. Interesting. I have always said that politics, especially in a small town, is a popularity contest. Mike is a good man. We shall see if his sons reputation has any effect on his campaign. Especially since his son is trying to shut down every positive development that is trying to happen in Trumbull. And has managed to turn off many would be developers looking at our town.

    1. @Cindy
      I don’t know Mike, and excluding his party affiliation, he has two strikes against him: his son and his wife.
      Last term his wife lost her reelection bid to the TRTC, but somehow has regained a seat.

      Not only is Tim suing to stop all good development for Trumbull, much of which originated during his tenure, but this month has threatened a suit over the Marisa’s project as well.

      Since you know the players, there questions were about Mike, Mark Block (who has an exploratory committee for town wide office), and (D3 Council Member) Lori Schwartz.
      EXCEPT: Lori (who represents my district) does not use that name and has no recognition as such. Lori uses and was elected and reelected as Lori Rosasco-Schwartz. She is also the treasurer of Block’s exploratory committee.
      My wife has lived in Trumbull for close to 60 years and had no idea who Lori Schwartz is. But when asked to name our Council members she named Rosasco-Schwartz along with the other 4.

      No matter who the Rs nominate, I shall be working to reelect Vicki Tesoro. I’m thrilled with the positive changes in Trumbull since Herbst left office and she took the helm.

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