Democrats, Republicans Poised To Nominate Local Candidates
NOTE (Saturday, July 24, 2021): This article has been updated to correct which official will record nominations and votes during a town committee meeting or caucus.
Conflicting information concerning town committee member participation has also been removed. The difference between a town committee meeting and caucus was also clarified.
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Both the Newtown Republican Town Committee and Newtown Democratic Town Committee are expected to meet July 27 to nominate candidates for local elected offices. Once ratified by their respective party members, those candidates’ names will appear on local ballots November 2.
Similar to last year, local Democrats will be conducting a town committee meeting instead of a caucus under a directive from the Democratic State Committee. Town Republicans will be conducting a caucus.
The difference is that at a town committee meeting, only members of the town committee may make nominations. At a caucus, all registered members of the host political party have the opportunity to make endorsements and vote on nominations.
Democratic Town Committee Chair Eric Paradis said his group intends to conduct its meeting at 7 pm, on Tuesday, July 27, in Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street.
The Republican Town Committee caucus will be conducted at the same time — 7 pm, on Tuesday, July 27 — in Newtown Senior Center, at Fairfield Hills.
Many board and commission seats in town will be open, including two seats on the Board of Assessment Appeals, four seats on the Board of Education, all six seats on the Board of Finance, all 12 seats on the Legislative Council, all three members of the Board of Selectmen (including first selectman), and three seats and all three alternate seats on the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Voters are also asked to choose candidates for the Board of Assessment Appeals; Zoning Board of Appeals, including alternates; Police Commission; and Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers.
Nominations will be made and members’ votes be recorded by the respective party secretary.
Democratic Registrar of Voters LaReine Frampton said Democrats are expected to reveal their proposed candidates and then ask for nominations. She said that in some years, a few people show up, there are few nominations, and the candidates are all nominated, taking only a few minutes. In other years, she said, the meeting is full, there are many nominations, and the process can take hours.
Republicans will follow a similar process, with the aforementioned difference.
Following their respective nomination processes, both committees must file their slates of candidates with the town clerk’s office by Wednesday, July 28.
Paradis said that while it has been difficult for both parties to find people willing to volunteer, there is still time for people to reach out, even “late in the game.” Independents can also be nominated for seats by either town committee; however, because the Democratic Town Committee is conducting a meeting instead of a caucus, only town committee members will be able to make those nominations.
According to the DTC website, “State and national issues are always a part of any town committee, the Newtown DTC is primarily concerned with finding and helping local citizens take part in our community. Whether running for an elected office or looking to be part of an appointed commission, we are here to help make things a little nicer.”
Republican Town Committee Secretary Michele Buzzi said the GOP committee is “excited to have a great slate of candidates for the upcoming municipal election.
“We are thankful to the many people who have stepped forward to volunteer their time to run for office,” said Buzzi. “While each candidate has their own distinct qualifications and experiences that they bring with them, they all share a strong commitment and deep caring about the town we all call home. Volunteering in the community is important, whether it be politically, in the schools, coaching, or at church, and Newtown is fortunate to have so many who are willing to give back.”
If necessary, primaries for contested seats will be conducted September 14. Candidates will be placed on the ballots for Election Day with the order determined via lottery by local registrars. Election Day is November 2, with terms for those elected beginning on December 1.
The Newtown Bee will provide updates on the nominations following the meeting and the caucus in the July 30 print edition, and online at newtownbee.com.
Reporter Jim Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.