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Republican caucus

WINSTED — The town’s Republican Party held its caucus at Town Hall on Monday, July 25. While the party members nominated candidates for selectmen and other municipal seats, they did not nominate anyone for the Board of Education.David Cappabianca, who was elected party chairman, led the meeting.At the meeting, current Selectmen Glenn Albanesius, Ken Fracasso and Karen Beadle were all endorsed to run for re-election. Resident Marsha Sterling, who has been a frequent presence at selectmen’s meetings lately, has also been endorsed to run for selectman.Cappabianca will run for town clerk, while residents Bryan Sundie and Todd Arcelaschi will be running for town constables.When it came time to nominate candidates to run for a seat on the Board of Education, no one was nominated.Cappabianca told the caucus that he asked several residents, but he could not find anyone willing to run.When Cappabianca asked if anyone in the room would be willing to be nominated in order to keep a spot on the ballot open for any potential candidate for the Board of Education, the room fell silent. None of the 15 Republicans present stepped forward.Cappabianca pointed out that, despite not being able to find a candidate for the Board of Education during the caucus, it is still possible for a candidate to get on the ballot through a petition process.The candidate would need to get the signatures of 5 percent of the town’s registered Republicans and submit the petition to the town clerk by Aug. 10. Less than a minute after the caucus ended, Fracasso handed out a press release that attacked the town’s Democratic Party.“Local Republicans say this town’s Democrat majority is a rudderless machine that’s failed to make difficult choices that would have produced results taxpayers expected,” Fracasso wrote in his press release. “Republicans said Democrats, led by [Mayor] Candy Perez, [Selectmen] George Closson and [Board of Education Chairman] Kathleen O’Brien have failed to address or even acknowledge the breadth and scope of the challenges Winsted faces. Even worse, Democrats are unable, or unwilling, to give an accurate accounting of how they’ve spent our tax dollars during the worst economic crisis residents have seen.”In an interview after the meeting, Fracasso said he is disappointed at the lack of nominations for the Board of Education.“It’s a sign of the times,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but something has got to change sooner rather than later. It’s just because there is so much animosity on the boards. I think the leadership is a huge problem here.”Cappabianca said he is also disappointed in the lack of candidates for the Board of Education.“It’s unfair to voters not to have a candidate,” Cappabianca said. “As Republicans, we should be putting out candidates whenever we can. We’re going to have discussions with the nominating committee to get somebody to run.”He added that the lawsuit the Board of Education filed against the town may be a factor in the party not being able to find any candidates.

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