HARTFORD —— Edwin Vargas, a Democrat running for mayor as a petitioning candidate, has filed a complaint with the Democratic State Central Committee over Mayor Pedro Segarra's acceptance of an endorsement by Republicans, saying it violates party rules.
The complaint was filed Thursday, even as the Democratic Town Committee met to discuss the Republican strategy to cross-endorse some Democrats in an effort to draw more votes for their three council candidates.
Some committee members said the mayor shouldn't have accepted the endorsement, while others said it was a sign of inclusion. Some even suggested rescinding the party's nomination of Segarra.
A motion was made to request that Segarra reject the Republican endorsement, but several committee members walked out, leaving the body without a quorum, members said.
Committee member Ralph Arena said he doesn't think the mayor should have accepted the cross-endorsement.
"He doesn't need Republicans' [support]. He has no competition in this race," Arena said. "I feel, and a lot of other people feel, that [Republican Town Chairman] Mike McGarry is holding something over Pedro's head. We think some kind of deal has been cut."
Segarra could not be reached for comment Friday.
Republicans endorsed Segarra, Democrat Adam Cloud for treasurer and three Democratic city council candidates. All by Segarra rejected the endorsements.
Vargas said Friday that because Segarra's name appears on the same row as the Republican candidates for city council and treasurer, it could cost the Democrats votes.
"If people see Segarra's name on row B and they vote straight across, some of them might not even realize they're voting for Republicans," Vargas said. "Not all voters are that sophisticated.
"If the Working Families Party and Republicans work hard, that could leave some Democrats off of the council."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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