August 26, 2009

Alford says she offers "a new way"

The Republicans turned to a political newcomer Wednesday to run as their mayoral candidate this year.
Mary Alford, a 62-year-old bookkeeper, said she hasn't run for political office before, but she's always had an interest in politics.
Alford steps in as a replacement for the party’s first choice, attorney John Gill, who pulled out of the race two weeks ago. She’s taking on incumbent Democrat Art Ward and independent Gary Lawton.
She said she decided to run after the GOP's city chairman, T.J. Barnes, asked her to consider it following Gill’s departure from the contest.
"There should always be a choice. That's what we do in this country," Alford said.
Barnes said that Alford deserves "big kudos" for having the courage to step into the political arena.
"Mary has a lot of enthusiasm and energy," Barnes said, and can "put a smile on her face through good times and bad."
She said she offers voters someone who can “think in a new way” and offer fresh approaches at City Hall. She also said she’s not afraid to say what she thinks.
Alford grew up in Plymouth and moved to Bristol when her son, Gary, wanted to wrestle for Coach Dennis Seigman at Bristol Central High School.
Alford said she doesn't know incumbent Mayor Art Ward and did not want to criticize him.
Both Ward and Lawton said they welcomed her to the race. They also said they want to campaign on the issues.
Alford said she views economic development "as the lifeblood of a city” and plans to emphasize it.
She said the city’s schools are also crucial.
“Education is really the heart, where the young get trained to take over," she said.
Alford, who lives on West Street, said the police and fire departments as "some of the best anywhere."
Alford also had kind words for public works, which she said does "a terrific job under very difficult circumstances."
Barnes said he first got to know Alford when she switched her political affiliation in 2004 from independent to Republican to reflect her views and so she could help select candidates, not just vote for the ones the parties put on the ballot.
But Alford said she really got involved heavily last year working for her friend Republican Jill Fitzgerald’s 77th District state House campaign, which ended in a Democratic victory.
“To be in it is really exciting stuff,” Alford said, and gave her a chance to meet many “great people.”
Alford knows she’s a long-shot in heavily Democratic Bristol, but she said she’s got a chance.
“That’s what they’re going to decide in November,” she said. “It’s all about choices. It’s all about opportunity.”
A single mother, Alford also has a daughter and two granddaughters in addition to her son.
She attended Terryville High School and took a few semesters of college classes at the Connecticut State Teachers’ College, the old name of Central Connecticut State University.
She said she has worked for all sorts of companies, large and small. She is a bookkeeper for a Thomaston firm.
Her favorite job, she said, was spending seven years taking care of her grandchildren.
Bristol has never had a woman mayor, but the Republicans have had women run for mayor at least twice in the past. Former city Registrar Ellie Klapatch was the first woman to seek the city’s top job more than two decades ago.
The election is November 3. Mayors serve two-year terms for $100,000 annually.

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

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope she isn't a sacrificial lamb put up so that the Republicans can say they "found" a candidate. I hope she has a true platform and a true desire to win. We don't just need a "choice"....we need a VIABLE choice.

Anonymous said...

You guys seriously need a Council/Manager form of government... what business in its right mind would allow its customers to vote bar-owners and bookkeepers in as the organization's CEO? Who's in City Hall running the show who actually has a career background and education in managing public services? You have a professional CFO... but no desire for a professional CEO? Weird.

Anonymous said...

Has she quit yet?

Steve Collins said...

I accidentally deleted a comment asking why the Press wasn't at the GOP meeting Wednesday night. The answer is simple: I met with Mary Alford at 9 a.m. at the Press, a time picked by the Republicans, and reported the news before 10 a.m.
I only work eight hours a day so I couldn't do that and the meeting that night.
Alford said she would send me her speech. It will be put on this blog as soon as I get it.
The Republicans promised pictures, too. They'll be used as well.

Anonymous said...

yes yes 9:43

God forbid the people actually elect their own to run the government. How gosh...

Anonymous said...

What is most disturbing to me is how blind the voters have become to the intricitate net of city employees that basically run and have been running this town. It is one thing to feel disenfranchised and the complete oposite to walk into a booth and pull the lever knowing full well what that candidate is going to get for you.

Anonymous said...

Since she admittedly knows nothing about city government, who will be pulling her strings?

Mocabee??
Barnes???
Schaffrick????
Krawiecki????

Heaven help us!!!!

Anonymous said...

4:28

The intricate net you refer to is only part of the equation.
There is an equally insidious group outside of city workers that controls the other half of the picture.
Between them they determine who runs, who gets what in the city.

A Closed Corportaion.

Anonymous said...

4:31 pm

Good Afternoon FORMER Mayor Stortz.

Anonymous said...

How many others did The Town Chairman ask?

Anonymous said...

Mary is very independent and wont put up with anyone trying to "pull her strings" so I wouldn't be so concerned 4:31.

Anonymous said...

Steve at 2:56

Any possibility that her speech will be a dropout speech?

Anonymous said...

anon asked, "How many others did The Town Chairman ask?"

The mentally challanged guy walking around with the basketball wasn't ready to run this year but maybe next time.

This is getting to be a real joke. Solid guys like Dave Mills are putting their names on the ballot and all "TJ" (and the posse of know-nothings) can do is this?

Note to Bristol GOP: sack the Chairman and the "executive board" NOW!

Anonymous said...

Forget about who pulls her strings. This lady brings nothing to the ticket. She is almost like running no one.

Why doesn't the Town Chairman run? But he's probably an even less viable candidate. Everyone has "personal" issues. Personally I think they're all a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

At least she won't get a big ego like Ward did.
Problem with Ward is he forgot the rest of the population in Bristol doesn't care about HIS needs.

Anonymous said...

The Bristol Republicans get an "F" this semester.

But they get what they deserve. There are many men and women around Bristol that would make fine mayoral candidates (and much more viable than Ms. Alford).

The problem is that none of the people who are good candidates want anything to do with the jerks that are "running" or are active in the local Republican party today.

Anonymous said...

Where are the grass roots republicans?

Why aren't they speaking up?

Why aren't they getting involved??

Anonymous said...

Is Mary a bookeeper or an accountant?

Divorced or widowed?

Where is her speech?

Anonymous said...

What is Ward? High School graduate, drinking professional. You elected him.

Anonymous said...

10:04

I was't aware that the Republicans had a town chairman.

Anonymous said...

August 28, 2009 3:33 PM:

It's the GOP's numero-uno trust-fund-baby-in-chief....which qualifies him to be TC.

Anonymous said...

The paper said that Barnes recruited Alford.
Yet he wouldn't even call or meet with Stortz.

Ward has my vote, as well as some other democrats.

Anonymous said...

Four years ago Stortz swept all 9 districts against an incumbent.
This year they will be lucky to win ONE district.

The republicans could get shut out: Mills may be their only hope.

Anonymous said...

12:45

Do we know anything about her?

Anonymous said...

TJ

Get rid of her, get Stortz to run: the third candidate could be the charm!

Anonymous said...

All the union hackers are running scared....Come November we will gain a majority and finally do something for this city.

Anonymous said...

Sortz - you voted for Ward two years ago, so why wouldn't you vote for him this year. Do the honorable thing and become a democrat, I'm sure they would love to have you

Anonymous said...

You can't beat somebody with nobody!

Anonymous said...

We needn't worry, she has Ellen's support.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to know who her MENTOR(s) will be.

Anonymous said...

1:58

The ballots are supposed to be secret: how do YOU know how anyone voted?

Or was Governmemt 101 wrong?

Concerned Conservative said...

"We needn't worry, she has Ellen's support. August 30, 2009 3:31 Pm"

-I guess I'm voting for Ward then!

Anonymous said...

Where is Mary?

Haven't heard from her in almost a week.
Picture?
Speech?
Comments?

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are backing up for a new start, again!

Anonymous said...

And again!!

Anonymous said...

Another day without hearing from Mary (TJ, Art M, Gary, Ken) is another step ahead for the democrats!

Anonymous said...

Another day without hearing from Mary (TJ, Art M, Gary, Ken)...is another in paradise for the rest of us...

Anonymous said...

Speech??

Picture??

Bio???


AS PROMISED?????

Anonymous said...

The new way apparently is a STEALTH campaign.

Anonymous said...

Wheres Mary?

Anonymous said...

Get Pat Nelligan to run for mayor!! Write him in - that man works for Bristol with a passion.