Disclosure: your servant has a major role in the Hartford Republican Party. This fact, however, does not preclude a report on the status of the Republican Party in Hartford, Connecticut's Capital City.
After losing all three seats on the City Council to the Working Families Party, the Hartford G.O.P. took stock and decided to make major changes that would make the party competitive again. The apparent weaknesses were evident: a small town committee, few younger people and a lack of diversity.
To alleviate these problems, the parties executive committee moved to shake up the norm and open up the grand old party to build strength and interest. So, late last year, the decision was made to double the size of the town committee by changing the criteria for membership by district. This process took a few months, as by-law changes often do, and was subject to some discussion.
After proper paperwork and notification, all was well and the newly formed Hartford Republican Town Committee is now in a position to accept new members.
Following this move, the often two concerns: youth and diversity, were addressed immediately. Of the new members, several are indeed young, and minority representation has increased.
As a result of this new look, the ballot this year will be more complete than in the last few state elections. Both State Senatorial candidates have active campaigns, and all house districts but one have candidates. Rico Dence, running in the 4th district, is a remarkable candidate. He meets people every day, goes to many meetings and festivals and has attended many candidate training sessions.
So, step by step, the historical position of Republicans as Hartford's minority party may again come to be. Republicans have always been touted themselves as the party of opportunity and some, like Rico, are stepping up to that chance.