Republican Withdraws From Mayoral Race, Endorses Democratic Incumbent Segarra
By JENNA CARLESSO
September 22, 2011
HARTFORD —— Republican Town Committee Chairman Michael T. McGarry has bowed out of the mayoral race and endorsed the Democratic incumbent, Pedro Segarra.
Town and City Clerk John Bazzano said McGarry notified his office that he is withdrawing from the race.
In addition to Segarra, Republicans have endorsed Democrat Adam Cloud for treasurer, and Kenneth Kennedy, Alexander Aponte and Kyle Anderson, all Democrats, for city council.
Republicans have also endorsed three members of their own party for city council: Corey Brinson, who currently serves on the council, Michael Fryar and Sweets Wilson.
"This is based on policy," McGarry said Monday. "The Republican Town Committee is not dissatisfied with the policies of the current mayor and city council."
All of the Democratic candidates endorsed are incumbents, he noted, with the exception of Anderson, whose mother is a Republican and previously served on the council.
Republicans had nominated six candidates for city council during their convention in July, but three have dropped out. McGarry said. The three who left the race were placeholder candidates to preserve the party lines, he said.
McGarry said he also considered himself to be a placeholder candidate and had no plans to run a competitive campaign.
"I put myself up as a bargaining tool," he said. "I ran to protect the position on the line."
Republicans came to an agreement on the endorsements at a recent town committee meeting, McGarry said.
Sean Arena, former chairman of the city's Democratic Town Committee, claimed that Democrats can't accept Republican endorsements. He said a section of the party rules prohibits cross-party endorsements.
Also on Wednesday, the Working Families Party announced its city council candidate slate. The candidates are incumbent Councilmen Luis Cotto and Larry Deutsch, and city residents Cynthia Jennings and Joel Cruz.
This is the first time the party has endorsed four candidates. At previous elections, it endorsed three.
"We were approached by a lot of candidates who sought our endorsement, including some Democrats and some Republicans, and we just chose who we thought were the best candidates," said Jon Green, executive director of the Working Families Party. "If that means there's going to be more of a competitive election, I think that's healthy for everyone."
Three council seats are currently filled by members of minority parties: one Republican and two members of the Working Families Party.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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