The Easton Republican Town Committee primary slated for March 1 is officially canceled after the state GOP invalidated its January caucus.
The primary’s cancellation, confirmed in a legal notice posted by Town Clerk Christine Halloran, comes more than a week after the Republican State Central Committee invalidated the Jan. 4 caucus after learning the venue location of the caucus was changed without properly notifying caucus goers via a published legal notice as required in the party’s bylaws.
Because the caucus was invalidated, the ERTC failed to endorse any candidates for membership during its Jan. 4 caucus, according to the Connecticut Republican’s bylaws.
That makes nine of the ten Republicans, who were ousted during the caucus and successfully petitioned to primary to win their seats back, the only legal members of the ERTC. They are: Thomas Bladek, Scott Centrella, Raymond Ganim, Raymond Martin Jr, Raymond Martin III, Jake Martin, James Riling, Alison Sternberg and Kevin Rodrigue. Richard Colangelo, one of the ten ousted petitioners, withdrew from the primary race.
The original slate of 29 committee members prior to the Jan. 4 caucus will retain their seats until March 7, at which time the nine petitioning candidates will take control of the committee and elect additional members. “The newly state-endorsed committee members will collectively decide on the 20 members who will be brought back on. It may be in stages,” petitioning member Raymond Martin Jr. said.
The dispute committee also looked into Lou DiPietro’s concerns about the voting, balloting and nominating process at the Jan. 4 caucus when June Logie, treasurer of Citizens for Responsible Government, announced her own slate of 12 names to be considered for nomination. All 12 on Logie’s list received more than the required 40 votes and were elected by a majority.
DiPietro, who attended the caucus and was recently appointed to Easton’s Planning and Zoning Commission as an alternate member, claimed in a letter to Proto that the caucus turned into a “mockery of rules governing our party and that of a caucus.” Even though the dispute commission found that DiPietro’s complaint had “merit,” it rendered his allegations “moot” because the entire caucus was not properly held.
The dispute committee also looked into Daniel Lent’s counter complaint on deficiencies he alleges occurred with the March 1 primary petitions. The committee said Lent’s complaint was “outside of its statutory scope of review.” Lent was included on Logie’s alternative slate at the Jan. 4 caucus and had been serving as permanent caucus chair.
The committee solicited materials from DiPietro, Bowditch, and Lent ahead of the Feb. 3 meeting.