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March 2nd Will Mean a Lot

Mike McGarry

February 25, 2010

It seems to us that the ($100,000) March 2nd Democratic Town Committee Primary will mean much more than who becomes Democratic chairman.

If the majority party in Hartford becomes two warring factions, all bets are off the table for the 2011 election. If one side or the other takes over completely, it could mean business as usual – complete Democratic control.

One wonders if that would be the best outcome for Hartford, considering our recent history.

Sean Arena, current Democratic town chairman, thinks he has the votes, depending on his expected favorable vote in assembly district four. But Bruce Rubenstein dismisses all his claims with numbers showing him as the big winner.

Somebody is getting the wrong information from somebody. Maybe some town committee members are playing both sides of the street. There has been talk of a compromise candidate – a Steve Harris or John Gale – but it probably is too late for that. Bruce Rubenstein makes no bones about his take-no-prisoners approach and Sean has the support of many well-known names – that may go down with him if he loses.

So, between court cases and split personalities, the whole thing is up in the air and, surely, funny things may happen on March 2nd. Already, lots of absentee ballots have been turned in by both sides and one wonders if anybody will check them out. Activists on either ticket have some experience with questionable tactics with these supposedly sacred documents.

It used to be that the Hartford Courant would be all over this election. Instead various blogs, rumors, street talk and boasts are making the campaign one of the most bitter we’ve seen since the days of Nick Carbone – and he is still around. One wonders what his role is in all this.

To think that this is just an insiders game misses the point of the power of a town committee. The winner may come out with a mandate to pick the next mayor and council. That possibly makes it imperative for those who come out to vote – early and often?

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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