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Hartford Republicans Sadly Sitting Out

Republicans in capital city are solidifying their position as a permanent also-rans

Hartford Courant Editorial

July 25, 2013

Hartford Republicans will field no candidates for this fall's school board election, town party chairman Michael McGarry said this week. That's a bleak bit of evidence of the local GOP's sorry, withering status in the city.

Four seats will be filled by elections in November; five seats are filled by mayoral appointment. Mr. McGarry notes the presence of capable Republican Richard Wareing as one of the appointed members. But that's hardly a reliable indicator of the party's health.

The Hartford Republican Town Committee had spotted a person members thought would be a good candidate, but he decided not to run, Mr. McGarry said. "We'll leave it to the Democrats to take their seats or the Working Families Party. We're disappointed, of course, that we didn't get the candidate we wanted, but you can't force anyone to do it."

The task of making Republicans competitive or at least influential in such a Democratic bastion is daunting, no doubt about it.

Hartford voter registration figures from last November showed more than 35,000 Democrats, about 10,500 unaffiliated voters, just 1,884 Republicans and only 50 members of the tiny Working Families Party. The WFP, by out-scrapping Republicans, has replaced them as the minority party on the city council.

Democrats and the WFP don't cover the whole political spectrum, however. Republican voices are needed.

But the Hartford GOP is never going to crawl out of the deep hole it finds itself in if it fails to contest elections.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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