Two Turkish Americans Elected to Public Office in 2017

Two Turkish Americans were elected to public office in the November 7, 2017 elections. This brings the total number of Turkish Americans currently serving in public office to four and the total number of Turkish Americans ever elected to public office to ten.

Hacibey 'Haci' Catalbasoglu was elected as an Independent in the November 7 general election to the Board of Alders for Ward 1 in New Haven, Connecticut. Haci is 19 years old and a junior at Yale University. He is the youngest Turkish American to ever run and be elected to public office. He is also one of the youngest Alders to ever serve on the Board of Alders in New Haven. In 2017, he was nominated to serve on the city’s Commission on Homelessness after many years of volunteering and advocacy for the New Haven Livable City Initiative through New Haven’s [email protected] program. He was recommended for confirmation to the Commission by a unanimous vote of the Board of Alders’ Aldermanic Affairs Committee on April 24, 2017. As a member of the Commission, Haci is tasked with advising New Haven Mayor Toni Harp on how to actively combat the homelessness epidemic in New Haven. He also attended TCA's 4th Annual Turkish Americans Youth Leadership Congress in Washington, DC from October 26-29, 2017.

Tayfun Selen was elected as the Republican candidate to fill a vacant seat on the Chatham Township Committee in Chatham, New Jersey on November 7. He will serve the remaining two years of Committee member John Maurer’s term. Maurer, a Republican, resigned his seat in late August. Selen is an architect, accountant, and businessman who currently serves as Chairman of the Chatham Township Republican Committee. He previously ran for New Jersey State Assembly in 2013 and 2015. He serves on the Advisory Board for Montclair State University’s School of Business and previously held a seat on his local Board of Adjustment. Selen holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University and an MBA from Montclair State University in New Jersey.