July 22, 2009

Attorney John Gill to run as GOP's mayoral pick

With one day to go before the Republican nominating convention to pick the GOP’s slate of municipal candidates, the party finally came up with a mayoral contender.

“I got tired of being on the sidelines,” said John Gill, a 29-year-old attorney.

Gill, a newcomer to Bristol politics, aims to unseat first-term incumbent Democrat Art Ward.

City Councilor Ken Cockayne said that Gill “has an outstanding resume which blew me away” and should make a strong challenger.

“He’s a good candidate,” said T.J. Barnes, the Republican chairman.

Gill grew up in Southington and earned a bachelor’s degree at George Washington University in 2002.

A Democrat in college, he said, his “priorities sort of shifted” after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. He said he watched the smoke curling up into the sky from the Pentagon.

It made him want to come home to Connecticut and take an active role in the community where he settled.

He attended Boston’s Suffolk University Law School and practices in Wilton, where he specializes in marine insurance law.

Though Gill worked for a Democratic congressman briefly and was active in school organizations and sports, he hasn’t been a part of the political scene in Bristol.

But, he said, he’s been paying close attention, reading stories in the Press and finding much to disagree with in the actions of City Hall. He said he asked his fiancée about running for mayor long ago, but only jumped into the race after reading on the Bristol Blog Tuesday that Ward might face no opposition.

Gill said it would “a tragedy” for democracy and the community if the mayor got a free ride, so he contacted party leaders and quickly gained their backing.

*******

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

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Betcha Ward sleeps well tonight!

Anonymous said...

Sure has shown a lot of interest in Bristol, hasn't he?

Who will he be taking orders from?

Anonymous said...

OK, let me get this straight, he grew up in Southington, he is 29 years old, used to be a Democrat, worked for a Democratic Congressman, and works and most likely pays taxes in Wilton where his law practice is. And this is the resume that blew Cockayne away? Heaven help the local GOP. Mayor Art just got a free pass. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Is Ellen Zoppo running the Bristol GOP now?

Anonymous said...

Bristol Blog! Bristol Blog! Bristol Blog!

Anonymous said...

Whatever. Nothing about this guy's resume seems mindblowing, though I guess when you're as simple minded as Ken Cockayne it doesn't take much.

Concerned Conservative said...

Perhaps this guy's "resume" means Cockayne and Rimcoski have a chance, but I don't see this guy doing anything much for the other council candidates. Unfortunately the leaders of the Bristol Republicans don't have a grasp on basic politics. A weak "top of the ticket" is a huge liability. Wake me up when it's over.

Anonymous said...

Bill Stortz, please run so Art Ward will feel some heat! And you might actually win. This Gill guy is a joke of a candidate.

Anonymous said...

So John Gill switched to Republicans because of 9/11? So not only is he inexperienced, he's naive and gullible too.

Anonymous said...

Actually, John is smart and energetic. He'll do well.

Anonymous said...

John may be smart, but he is not qualified or experienced at all.

Anonymous said...

Ward should be hitting the Pepto tonight.

This guy is 29, has a law degree, and work experience in both the public and private sectors. He knows politics, corporate America, and Connecticut. He's young, and has the potential to inspire many new folks to get involved in the process.

John's old boss in the House still serves there, and, although he's a Democrat, it would be great for Bristol to have someone John knows personally serving on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - could help get us much needed dollars to fix our terrible roads.

John worked for the Department of Justice. That's not really the minor leagues.

Perhaps most importantly he lives in the part of town with the greatest potential for improvement and growth.

Let's hope everyone who complains that we need fresh ideas and new blood is in fact intelligent enough to recognize it and embrace it. Or at least be open-minded enough to listen.

The sun has set on Stortz.

Anonymous said...

GOP = DOA.

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of Dems sounding quite scared...keep reassuring yourselves

Anonymous said...

I am all about electing new young people into office! Just got of the phone with some of my friends that are DEMs and they are ready to give a young person a shot at Mayor! This is pretty cool. If i was Art you better come up with some great ideas to get the young vote - because with half us not able to get work coming out of school and another worried about taxes going up - we need a reason to vote for Ward! Does Ward have a 5 year plan for Bristol? I understand your not in office that long, but what would Art Ward like to see in 5 years? What does all the candidates what Bristol to look like in 5 years? Steve, those are the questions you should be asking.

Anonymous said...

Nice try, 10:05.

Anonymous said...

What in God's name do you mean isn't qualified or doesn't have the experience? Owning a bar, spending half your life drinking at Sporties and numerous DUIS constitues experience? Wow, no wonder this town has a complex. Nothing but past, former or relatives of city employees in charge of making our desicions. Step up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Typical Democrats in this town....

Art Ward aka "Otis" has more experience than a guy with a law degree?

Ward wouldn't even know where to go to get a law degree.

Anonymous said...

As I follow the political discussion on a few of these threads, it became obvious that the Republican leadership WAS and IS afraid of Stortz.
The man bowed out gracefully two years ago, and to my knowledge has not shown any interest in running, yet they claim he is waiting to be "begged".
I have seen no sign of that, so I have to wonder where they are coming from.
But it does point out quite clearly why the Republican Party is in trouble, locally and elsewhere.

Bill, you don't need these people or that aggravation!

Anonymous said...

"he’s been paying close attention, reading stories in the Press"

Well then, there we go! Who needs even the basic fundamentals or experience when you've got the Bristol Press! (No offense Steve!).

Sleep well Mayor Ward!

Anonymous said...

Nice to have young, fresh man in office - instead of the old, union, take care of my friends guy.
I will vote for Gill.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Stortz can run too and this way votes will be split 3 ways. I know John will do much better then Artie.

Anonymous said...

"What in God's name do you mean isn't qualified or doesn't have the experience"

Uh...I guess that means he isn't qualified and doesn't have experience? Legal experience is nice, but the guy hasn't got a clue how to run a city. Ward spent 14 years on the city council learning the ins and outs of city government. Law school is swell, but this guy needs to get some time and experience under his belt...not just wake up some morning and say, "hey, I think I'll run for mayor!" Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE KIDDING ME!!!

Anonymous said...

10:00 poster,

what made Ward so qualified? He does not have higher education and never ran a business..opps..forgot a bar!

I'd love to hear your answer.

Anonymous said...

If Law school is so difficult, how come there are so many lawyers?

And there is much much more to running the city than lawyering!

Anonymous said...

of course Ward is sleeping well. He had a couple cocktails before bed!

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, it is Thursday and the sun is shining.

Nothing else to do.

Guess I'll run for mayor Bristol.

Where the heck has this guy been for the past 6 months, year, two?

And we wonder why we are in trouble!

Anonymous said...

9:40,

Typical cheap shot...seems that's all you've got.

Anonymous said...

11:20 PM

Hmmmm...not sure about him spending half his life at Sporties...at least some of that time was spent serving his country in Vietnam, returning to his hometown to run a successful business, raise a family, spending well over a decade serving the community on the city council, and then a successful run for Mayor...Yup, I'd say that definitely constitutes experience!

Anonymous said...

If Ward knew more then what he brags about - this city would be doing better. Get a new fresh idea man in office. Ward spends so much time at the bars, (Legion, Sporties, Social Club, etc..) how can his mind sharp enough to know about city business?
Belly up to the bar Artie - young ones coming in to take your place.

Odin said...

Let me get this straight. Last year the DOP (Dead Old Party) wanted us to hire a city manager. That failed, so this year they want us to throw out our experienced mayor and hire a kid who has never held elective office? What's wrong with this picture???

Anonymous said...

Who will be pulling Gill's strings?

Barnes's
Schaffrick
Mocabee
Krawiecki

one of the above, all of the above?

Anonymous said...

I gather from gills comments that he reads the blog.
Does he feel that that makes him qualified to be mayor?

Anonymous said...

"On the sidelines" is a cute way of saying you've never done anything in the city of Bristol, for the city of Bristol, or as a resident of the city of Bristol. Who is this guy? Does he have any tie to our city except for the fact that he's lived here for.. how long? When did he become a resident (or a republican)? Two weeks ago? What the heck is the GOP thinking? Is this a joke - can't they get Stortz or Barnes to run, for Pete's sake? This guy has "upstart" written all over him. I want to know about his ties to Bristol. What does he even know about this town? You have to have some kind of local pedigree to consider running for any municipal office - as far as I can tell from this article, Gill grew up in Southington, went to school in DC and Boston, and works in Wilton. What's the connection to Bristol? He's a classic opportunist. I am absolutely disgusted that this is the best the GOP can offer. Jesus. What does this guy know about our schools, our roads, our businesses? Where's Ken Johnson when you need him!? Anyone else, please come forward. Your party and your city need you!

Anonymous said...

Does Gill live in Bristol? Tax records don't show him as the owner of any real estate in Bristol. He very well may rent or live i a home owned by his fiance, I'm just curious.

Steve Collins said...

We'll know a lot more about Gill in the weeks ahead. I promise.

Anonymous said...

Comments about education:

Zoppo had a bachelors and a masters.
Stortz had a bachelors and went halfway through on his MPA
you don't want either of them, and they had been and are deeply involved in Bristol.

Education should not be a major criteria: proven interest in Bristol should be!

Who and what is John Gill?????

Anonymous said...

Is he running so that Ward doesn't get a free ride (negativity), is he running because he wants the job?

Where was he last week, last month, last year?

When did he become a voter in Bristol?

It appears that he did not, does not, want the job badly enough to have challenged someone.

Guess he thinks it is just a game!

I'm ashamed to be a Republican in Bristol right now!

Anonymous said...

Look at at all the dems. Worried!! Even checking the tax records...typical scum bag Ward politics.

Anonymous said...

Attorney? Well maybe by education, but certainly not in practice. Google him and find out. Guess he wants to stop commuting to Wilton everyday and get a raise. Can't say that I blame him... hey, maybe I'll run! I'm just as (un)qualified! Maybe the "retreads" (read: he thinks we're all dumb schmucks) in this town will like me better than Gill or Ward. I like my chances. Maybe you like yours, too. What the heck, let's get a primary going!

Anonymous said...

John Gill joined Lamorte Burns & Co., Inc. in 2007 and is assigned to the Cargo Claims and Personal Injury sections. John is an attorney with background experience in insurance law, claims handling and regulatory compliance. He has previously worked in both the public and private sectors.

John graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. Degree in 2002, and received his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 2007. While in law school, John received the American Jurisprudence award in corporate law and the CALI award in consumer law. John is admitted to the Connecticut Bar. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association and the Maritime Law Association of the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Stortz looks better day by day.

Anonymous said...

"Look at at all the dems. Worried!! Even checking the tax records...typical scum bag Ward politics."

Geesh, don't get your panties in a twist already. The dems aren't even breaking a sweat. Checking to see whether or not this guy even lives in Bristol is just getting the basics...typical anti-Ward scum bag comment.

Anonymous said...

Ward likes to get down and dirty. He likes when others to his dirty work for him, so he can say he didn't do it, but he certainly gives them all the ammo they need on someone.

Maybe Ward should be concerned about who he burned since being in office - because he will not get their votes or $$.

Anonymous said...

Stortz NEVER looked good.

Anonymous said...

how can you be a practicing attorney if you don't work for a lawfirm and you have no clients?

a lot of attorneys don't practice, so that's not the problem. why attempt to mislead, though? a job is a job, right? the answer is yes, unless your trying to hide the fact that you have little to no experience.

[search "lamorte" at http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/AttorneyFirmInquiry.aspx]

[search "427194" at http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/AttyCaseListSearch.aspx]

Anonymous said...

Hey Stortz, you really need to knock this stuff off! You are a pathetic man! Really Really, Pathetic.

You got a vote of No Confidence from the City Council for lying to them and withholding information and you are really a "legend in your own mind."

Get off the political stage, pass the baton, whatever its called and finally grow up and realize your done!

Stay home a cry: Poor Bill,,,everyone's picking on me" Oh boo hoo

Anonymous said...

Who is happier (and benefits more), Ward, Klocko, Krawiecki?

Anonymous said...

Puh-lease. Give the guy credit, everyone has to start somewhere. You're all too apathetic to get involved, at least he's willing to try. It's a free country.

Anonymous said...

I would have voted for Stortz, even Johnson, but now I am voting for Ward!

Anonymous said...

As a Republican, I would not be bit worried about no confidence vote led by Zoppo and her band of merry men

Anonymous said...

Fantastic endorsement from Barnes, the republican chairperson: "He is a good candidate".

Would we expect you to say he was a "bad" candidate?

Guess Barnes doesn't know much more about him.

Anonymous said...

All these city workers on this board makes me crack up! LOL! I love it!

inner tube said...

guy says that he wants a respectable campaign and then calls incumbents "retreads", guess that is respect for someone who just poked his head out of the clouds.

Anonymous said...

Another Elitist!

What does he know about Bristol?
What does he know about reality?

Heaven help us!!

Anonymous said...

This is what is wrong with Bristol. You have not even heard his ideas or agenda and are already bad mouthing this guy. He has no ties to anyone and is a very sincere and genuine guy. It is so obvious the "Ward" Clan are the ones posting to this blog, and these are the people we want to run our city?

Anonymous said...

7:23 AM, You just don't get it. We're not part of the "Ward clan." We're just tax paying citizens who realize that a still wet behind the ears kid who falls out of the sky at the last minute is not the messiah just because he's new. There's a lot to be said for knowledge and experience, and Mr. Gill has neither. Maybe he's a great guy, but he's got a lot to learn before we hand him the keys to the city.

Anonymous said...

7:23

No I am not a Ward Clan member, and yes I want a better Bristol.

However, the potential for doing damage is extremely high if you have no idea as to what is going on.
Also, I see the faceless behind the scenes power people running Gill, which is even more scary.

Anonymous said...

No one is "running" Gill. Read up on how much he has experienced already in politics and tell me he isn't versed in the matter. Politics is politics is politics, no matter where you are. Bristol is no different. Time for all these party line Democrats to open their eyes. Our "experienced" politicians have run the city into the ground, took money from our one-time rainy day fund to "balance" the budget, have made no progress on the mall site and have continued to waste money hand over fist. Ward grossly underestimated the recession, handed out raises to city employees and then turned around asking for them back, when he knew we were already in trouble. He is a hack, always has been and those who think differently either need to wake up, or realize that they too are hacks.

Anonymous said...

John Gill is one of the most intelligent people I've ever known. He has a great political knowledge and common sense. He is an ethical and good man who will do many great things for Bristol if elected.

Anonymous said...

You don'think that Mocabe, Schafrick, Barnes and Krawiecki won't "RUN" John?

Think again!

Otherwise they would not have let him run.

Where do you think he is going to get any help from?

Anonymous said...

12:12 Good for him! It still doesn't give him the knowledge or experience to govern our city. Sorry, but there's just no substitute for experience. He's got to have a hell of a lot more going for him before he gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

To the 3:42 poster:

Congratulations Genuis! You finally figured it out! Betcha got your Masters degree, huh?

BTW the entire Town Committee decides who runs for office.

Anonymous said...

Ward had 14 years of "experinece" on the City Council before he became Mayor. He has done nothing but to try and buy his re-election with fat union contracts. With that type of experience we will do well to get JOHN GILL as our Mayor who is not beholding to the unions. Yes experience matters, but so does all the expereince in the world matter when it adds up to nothing for tax payers and everthing for unions as Ward has demnonstrated. Bristol pays higher taxes then before his administration, has less services and has a mayor who has no clue how to manage this city in this economy...DISPITE ALL HIS "EXPERIENCE"!!!!

Anonymous said...

5:21
Boy, are you naive!!!