Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this story:
The economy's downward spiral has claimed another casualty: Republican Joe Geladino's state senate campaign against veteran Democratic incumbent Tom Colapietro.
"I decided to let it go," said Geladino, who then vowed to "come back and run for council and this time work at it."
Geladino said he's had to focus on his business as a builder, which frequently takes him out of town, instead of the race in the 31st district, which includes Bristol, Plymouth, Plainville and part of Harwinton.
"The economy kind of pulled Joe out of it," said Republican Town Chairman T.J. Barnes.
Barnes said Geladino was often called to New London to work.
"His job got in the way," said Barnes. "He was never in Bristol."
Geladino, who builds homes to sell them and works for a bridge building company as well, said the tough economy and the crisis in the banking and insurance industry has hurt him.
"I have everything on hold. I'm renting houses that were supposed to be sold," said Geladino, who has added the job of landlord to his duties.
Geladino said he wasn't interested in campaigning if he couldn't make it a priority.
"I don't want to do things halfway," Geladino said. "I don't want to cheat the public."
Barnes said they discussed going for state campaign cash and running a campaign as best they could without the candidate around.
"That seemed very disingenuous, so we decided against it," Barnes said.
Barnes said it's possible the party will fill the vacancy on the ticket.
"There might be someone who steps up," said Barnes, adding that he wouldn't be surprised if the slot is filled – or left open – this close to the election.
"At this point, I don't have a definite yes or no," said Barnes.
The news caught Colapietro by surprise, who said the thought of running unopposed is "unbelievable."
"I just don't know what to say," said the Bristol Democrat. "I have never not had an opponent."
If Republicans can't fill the slot, Colapietro will still campaign, he said, but it won't be the same.
"I was looking forward to talking about issues," said Colapietro.
Geladino said he didn't want to comment on Colapietro or the senate race.
"If I was going to run, I would have a lot to say," said Geladino.
Barnes said it is "always an uphill battle" to completely fill the Republican slate, and although he said he's not thinking of city council races yet, Geladino is.
"I'll be back full strength then," Geladino said. "I'm not going to give up on Bristol."
Geladino said he would be "a bigger help to the people of Bristol" as a city councilor than he would be as a state senator.
He opposed the school project at the Scalia sand pit, Geladino said, and was proven right when planning commissioners recommended against it this week.
Geladino said the city can't keep raising taxes. He said local politicians are "spending all kinds of money like a bunch of drunken sailors."
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