Fairfield political leaders blindsided by state rule change for town committees
Local political party chairmen said this week they received short notice of a change in state rules for electing members of their respective town committees.
Section 11 of “An Act Strengthening the State’s Elections” now requires all municipal candidates, including candidates for town committees, to sign their certificate of endorsements, according to an email sent Dec. 31 by Ted Bromley, attorney with the Secretary of the State’s office, to all town clerks.
“Town committee endorsements can come to your office on one single sheet of paper or on several different sheets of paper as long as the endorsements were properly made during the appropriate time frame using the appropriate method as prescribed by party rules,” Bromley’s email states.
“I will have our full slate of candidates sign party endorsement forms,” said Jamie Millington, the Fairfield Republican Town Committee chairman. “We have 74 members who I now need to track down and make sure I get them to sign an acknowledgment of their endorsement.”
The local Republican caucus will be held next Tuesday, Millington said. “There are no contests for the seats and the caucus should go smoothly,” he added.
“We were told that if voting via proxy, there is an additional form that must be signed and submitted to the town clerk,” Dean said. “While It could be problematic for snow birds, we have not yet experienced that.”
Dean said those who signed by proxy will need to sign an addition form by Jan. 13 to have it submitted to the town clerk by Jan. 14.
“We aren't anticipating problems at this time, however, that could change once the applications are submitted,” Dean said.
According to Bromley’s email, the change was made to “ensure at all candidates were subject to the same requirements. As you are all aware, this was not the case in the past.”
Millington called the new requirement “just another pointless regulation coming out of Hartford.”
Prior to the change, Millington said in order to get on a ballot, candidates already have to submit a letter of intent asking to be placed on the ballot. He then confirms that they are a registered Republican and that they live in the district in which they are running.
“I have no idea what he is talking about as we have been nominating candidates without issue for decades and the requirements to run for office are crystal clear,” Millington said of the Secretary of the State’s directive. He said when he received the email from Town Clerk Betsy Browne, he contacted Republican State Party Vice Chairman Analissa Stravlo, who Millington said was also unaware of the change.
Milllington said town committee leadership will be elected March 7, when the new town committee members are sworn in.
Dean said the Democrats will also elect their leadership in March, and all candidates are expected to be present.