For the first time since 1970, the Republican candidate for registrar won’t be Ellie Klapatch.
Klapatch is stepping down to make way for Sharon Krawiecki, a GOP loyalist who has served as an assistant registrar for years.
Democratic Registrar Bob Badal remains his party’s candidate for the position.
The city has two full-time registrars, one from each party, who are chosen in what amounts to an uncontested election since Krawiecki and Badal are the only candidates for the two positions.
The registrar's office's major job is to keep tabs on who is eligible to vote, nearly 35,000 people this year.
Registrars serve two-year terms for about $48,000 annually.
But their term could change next time around if voters approve a charter question on the ballot that proposes giving them four-year terms in the future. The change had the unanimous backing of the Charter Revision Commission and the City Council.
Klapatch said that Krawiecki “has been working for each of us here in the office for years. She’s going to be great.”
Krawiecki is “a very caring person” who knows the job already, Klapatch said, and who will serve the city well.
Klapatch first served as the Republican registrar in Bristol in 1952, when it was a part-time job. She said Friday that it proved so much work that she didn’t run again until it was made a full-time position.
In GOP circles, Klapatch has long served as a sort of mother hen, the expert to rely on for information on decades of city politics and arcane election rules.She’s met every Republican president and presidential contender since Thomas Dewey in 1948 and is friends with governors, senators and scores of political figures across the state.
Klapatch is the first woman to run for mayor in Bristol, a long-shot bid in 1987 that she made because she didn’t want Democrat John Leone to get a free ride for re-election. She constantly pleads for her party to make sure it has candidates in every possible race so that voters have a choice.
But one choice voters won’t have again is Klapatch.
She said she’s finally ready to retire.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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