April 28, 2009

Politics wrapup

Republican mayoral contender Ken Johnson has pulled out of the race for the city’s top job.

Citing personal reasons, Johnson told the GOP’s town committee Monday that he would not seek the mayor’s position this year.

Two years ago, Johnson put up a stiff race against Democrat Art Ward, but fell short. He announced his re-election bid the same night and formally declared this winter that he would challenge Ward come November.

The departure of Johnson, who could not be reached Tuesday, leaves the GOP without a mayoral candidate, fueling renewed speculation that former Mayor William Stortz might try to make a comeback.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, where Ward plans Thursday to deliver a formal announcement of his intention to seek re-election, three candidates leaped into City Council races this week, one in each of the city’s districts.

Incumbent Kevin McCauley, a city firefighter, said he would seek a third term as one of the 2nd District’s two city councilors. The other, Republican Ken Cockayne, is also planning to run again.

In addition, Republican Richard Scarola is in the fray, hoping to join Cockayne on the council.

McCauley said his agenda on the council would remain the same, with improving the city’s code enforcement effort “my primary focus.”

In the 1st District, newcomer Kevin Fuller declared that he would seek election, telling party leaders that Ward “inspired me” to run. The district’s two incumbents, Democrat Cliff Block and Republican Mike Rimcoski, have each said they will likely run for another term, but neither has entered the race yet.

In the 3rd District, where the two Democratic incumbents are each stepping down, Democrat Terry Parker announced his intention to seek his party’s backing. Kate Matthews, another Democrat, is also in the race. There is one Republican in the race so far, Derek Czenczelewski.

“I am no yes man,” Parker said, “but I’m no obstructionist either.”

The election is Nov. 3, though primaries are likely. Mayors and councilors each serve two-year terms, with mayors earning $103,000 next year and councilors collecting $10,000.

“I am no yes man,” Parker said, “but I’m no obstructionist either.”

The election is Nov. 3, though primaries are likely. Mayors and councilors each serve two-year terms, with mayors earning $103,000 next year and councilors collecting $10,000.

Reporter Steve Collins can be reached at (860) 584-0501 x. 254 or scollins@bristolpress.com.


Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


true said...

looks as though johnson has gagged on his gasby.

Concerned Conservative said...

It's an uphill battle for any Republican in the People's Republic of Bristol. So anyone can understand that although Johnson may be tempted to run again, his chances of victory are even less than they were least time. Of course personal finance is a good reason not to waste time on an ill-advised venture.

It's understandable why both parties have trouble finding good candidates in an age when the majority of educated, working Bristol citizens commute outside of the city (or suburb). With that in mind, I can understand a person like Johnson declining to run again.

However just as his jump into the mayoral race two years ago was bizarre after one unsuccessful council bid (albeit almost successful had it not been arguably for Stortz's non-support), announcing his run and then promptly withdrawing is even more bizarre.

gone and forgotten said...

the color orange is retired to the groves of yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Successful Bristol/Connecticut politicians are bought and paid for by the unions .

It's the lowly taxpayers that bear the burden of that fact .

Anonymous said...

An Wardie Boy is a Union man!!
Get rid of Ward ad the Unions fall. I don't care who runs against Ward my vote is on the other canidate.

John B.

snorkee said...

7:20 - make sure that your sneaker is tied so that you don't fall down and skin your knee and have to go limping and crying to mommy's arms so that she can remind you of how stupid that you were not to have tied your sneakers, pamper drool.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Fuller - Board of Education employee encouraged to run by Mayor Ward - gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

If a Republican can't beat Terry Parker, then they should just quit as a party.

Anonymous said...

It will a real interesting scene if Stortz comes back into the Republican fray after being basically told to go take a long walk off a short pier last time around in favor of the Johnson candidacy.

This Republican will support Stortz for Mayor 2009.

one way said...

9:43 - everyone should be encouraged to become involved, city employee, union or not - that is the process of good government, not just your governmemt, everyone's government.
Sorry that you can't enjoy dictating the rules as you go but we can supply you with an airplane ticket to get to such a
place, as long as you promise not to return.

snore said...

11:54 - wow, what a revelation, please supply us with more - beats counting sheep to cure my apnea.

silly rabbit said...

To all of the taxpayers in the City of Bristol: You are being misinformed and led down the path of internal destruction!
It is just so convenient to use unions as a scapegoat for taxpayer woes. But the truth of the matter is that our mayor is way in over his head and can't or won't make a decision because he is being bullied....not by the unions, but by the department heads, who are driven by their own ego's and subjective demeanors!
The unions understand the plight of the taxpayer....does City Hall?
The Personnel Office spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, between legal fees and state labor board hearings for issues that can and should be resolved at the local level for a fraction of the cost. I would like to see an INDEPENDENT AUDIT of the "books" for every department in the city. Where and why is so much spent?
The unions have brought ideas for savings to the city, and been rejected time and time again. Mostly because of personal vendettas (members privately backed another candidate; or proved that department heads were misrepresenting the facts)or because the ideas aren't "flashy" enough! What does that even mean?
I thought that it was about the taxpayers? Obviously not. Why is there such a large "rainy day" fund? BECAUSE YOU ARE BEING OVERTAXED!
It is my personal opinion that the person that is elected as Mayor should be able to be a leader, and while seeking advice to make informed decisions, should have the intestinal fortitude to stand and act on their commitment to be here for the taxpayer. Not get bullied into buying more property for schools that haven't really been justified....Not to be led around by the comptrollers office, which is offering only half truths and clouded views to push self-serving agendas....To realize that there are viable options to save tax dollars by being open, honest, and humble; and "flashy" doesn't always translate to real savings....
In short, the Mayor needs to grow a set and be the leader that he claims to be....not a PUPPET!

Anonymous said...

"Get rid of Ward ad the Unions fall."

The Unions have been here for a long time before Artie and they will continue long after Artie.

Anonymous said...


So obviously you are acknowledging that 7:20 is 100% correct.

Anonymous said...

Silly rabbit! Don't you know - tricks are for twits...(cuz only a twit would believe your delusional rantings)

needs counseling said...

slly wrabbit sound wike a persin wit an axe to grind - did somebody wrain on your parade? Too bad.

Concerned Conservative said...

If Terry "not an obstructionist" Parker is against the new school construction (unlike the 22 yr old Republican) perhaps he's worth consideration?

Anonymous said...

April 28, 2009 11:54 PM -- Get your facts straight. It Stortz who snubbed the republican party in the last election and not the other way around.

He has a lot of fences to mend with the BRTC, the party in general and many others who had supported him in the past.

Anonymous said...

The bargaining units had more respect for Stortz, a Republican, than they do for Ward, a Democrat.

They didn't always get their way, but they knew that they were listened to and got a fair shake.

Anonymous said...

I want to know more about stuff that the unions have suggested over the years that got rejected by the Personnel Director and her lapdog the mayor and never saw the light of day. Could someone from the union post them online somewhere?

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against unions. But there are 60,000+ residents in Bristol. We only have 6 city council members and 1 mayor. It is pretty sad that 5 of those 7 either work for the city or have immediate family members who work for the city. It is an unbalanced group and the city charter should be revised to allow only a certain number of people to run for office who have strong ties to city hall and the various unions (either thru the candidate or their immediate family). Let's open up the playing field to include a more diverse group of people to govern our fair city. It makes government look corrupt when you see entire families of politicians employed by the city.

Anonymous said...

the posters on this blog are all so incredibly negative. what a waste of energy that could be better spent trying to solve this town's problems and help its citizens. it is so much easier to complain and criticize (anonymously) than it is to be productive and put your own head on the chopping block. i wonder if the quality of the postings on this blog would improve if steve were to disallow anonymous posts. we should try it for a day or two and see what happens. my guess is that people won't have the courage to stand behind their words.

Anonymous said...

Stortz's problems with the Republican hierarcy was that he wouldn't play their political games.

Yes, he refused to grant favors to some of his supporters, and unfortunately they had influence.

I see those same power hungry people refusing to show any interest in Stortz running: they would rather lose than give in.

Anonymous said...

April 29, 2009 1:46 PM:

1) Here's some advice. Go climb a tree.

2) A positive thing for Bristol would be if the majority on the council represented the tax payer and not the special interests.

Anonymous said...

The "powers that be" asked Stortz numerous times in 07 to run..he chose not too.

Stop this poor bill nonsense and remember he chose not to run.

and he won't beat Ward in 09, either.

Ms. Negative Says... said...

Dear Anonymous (a.k.a. April 29, 2009 1:46 PM):

Your point would have been more effective had it come along with a name attached to it (identity) rather than being posted anonymously.


Anonymous said...


I think you are being had by the "powers that be".

Their story just serves their purpose.

Anonymous said...

Let's vote for outsiders! I too have a problem with this. Ward is Mayor, his wife works for the BOE, his son is on the police dept. C'mon! enough already.

good morning said...

8:50 should have a problem shaving in the morning because of having to face themselves in the mirror - scary way to start the day but I guess that the rest of the day gets easier.

Anonymous said...

10:28, you don't even see a slight problem with all these relatives of the mayor and city council (or the members themselves) being city/state employees? really? it's conceivable that every single member will have such a conflict next year. it's great if you're a public employee controlling the gravy train, bad if you're like the rest of us. one hand washed the other, you'll never see police support cuts to fire, or fire support cuts to education, or education support cuts to public works, etc etc. see a pattern?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully ,Cockayne will follow Ken Johnson and not run for re-election also.

truthbtold said...

Please get the facts right, Fuller said he was inspired to run because of the great job Ward has done, he was not encouraged by Ward to run, and yes a Boe employee for 16 years and a union member who cares about Bristol and its citizens,so if you would like to also run it is open to everyone so dont be part of the problem help be part of the soulution

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Negative:

Absolutely not. In fact, your anonymous response helps to proves my point. (Assuming, of course, that your name is not really "Ms. Negative" - if it is, you have my apologies.) Why should I let you or any other anonymous poster tear me apart? You have no accountability and you can say any ridiculous thing that you want with no repercussions.

I give a lot of credit to Tim Gamache and Richard Scarola. Say what you want about these guys, but they are the only people who post on these pages using their real names. That takes guts, especially when you're running for office, "dontchathink"?

In any event... I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Wink.

Anonymous said...

I don't give any credit to Tim Gamache. All he does is defend the Democrats and the status quo (many times one in the same) while keeping his nose inserted firmly in their back-side. That's real bravery, kind of like being a loyal communist in Russia in 1950.

Ms. Negative said...

Dear April 30, 2009 9:26 AM:

Holy moly! Are you for real?

Your posts are prime examples of how to define and demonstrate a contradiction.

I would take the time to prove my point, but the proof is so evident that it seems unnecessary.

Silly Rabbit said...

In response to Anon. Apr. 29 @ 9:17am and Needs Counseling Apr.29 10:14am.....I neither have an axe to grind, nor am I delusionally ranting.
But I do try to stay informed by speaking to those that are in the know, unlike yourselves. It is difficult for me to accept the political blurbs that are in the paper as definitive. If either of you would investigate (as all taxpayers should), you will find that what I have stated is true.
I think that it is delusional to accept the B.S. that comes from City Hall as absolute and definitive.
And finally, it sounds like the two of you must be members of the Democratic Town Committee....resort to namecalling whenever someone brings a different perspective to the table. Don't be afraid! People know that politics and integrity cannot co-exist!!!

Anonymous said...

Where is TJ Barnes in all of this?

Isn't he the Republican Chairman?

Anonymous said...

April 30, 2009 9:38 PM:

He's out playing polo.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Looks like Johnson stuck it to Barnes, his big promoter of two years ago, and he certainly put the republicans in the hole.

Good job Ken!

Anonymous said...

Re Silly Rabbit:

"But I do try to stay informed"

Try a little harder. You are WAY out of the loop...kinda like a fruit loop! ;0)

Anonymous said...

See TJ, when you play with fire, you get burned.

Anonymous said...

Maybe now Mr. Johnson can spend some time on the CLP issue!!!