August 14, 2009

Republicans scramble to cope with mayoral candidate vacancy

Republican mayoral candidate John Gill is dropping out of the race for personal reasons, the GOP's party chairman, T. J. Barnes, said Friday.
Barnes said that "something came up suddenly" and Gill, a 29-year-old attorney, could not continue in the contest.
The Republicans scrambled to find an alternative challenger to Democratic Mayor Art Ward over the last few days and have apparently come up with someone – an unidentified woman.
Barnes said the party will introduce its candidate early next week.
Barnes said that GOP leaders were "very disappointed" that Gill had to drop out, but given the circumstances, they understand his decision.
"I'll leave it up to John to explain," Barnes said.
Gill could not be reached Thursday or Friday. He is scheduled, however, to appear with the new mayoral choice.
Ward said that he wishes Gill well, especially if there’s a health issue involved. He said that Gill may well have a future in city politics and deserves credit for getting involved.
The mayoral race also has an independent contender, Gary Lawton.
Lawton said he never had a chance to meet Gill, but “i do wish him the best and hope everything turns out the best for him.”
After Ward’s narrow victory in 2007 over Republican Ken Johnson, it appeared likely the Democrat would face a rematch.
Johnson declared within hours after the polls closed in 2007 that he would run again. For much of the year, it appeared he would.
But in the end, Johnson opted not to run and the GOP was uncertain who would head the Republican ticket until the day before its nominating convention last month, when Gill contacted party leaders about running after seeing a blog entry that questioned whether the party would have anyone.
Gill was a political unknown and even Republican activists admitted they only met him when he expressed a desire to run. But he impressed party leaders quickly with his quick mind and his readiness to jump into the effort to save the senior wellness clinic after it was threatened with closure.
Barnes said that Gill is "a good guy" who has a bright future in the party. He said he fully expects that Gill will be involved for years to come.
Barnes said that Gill is part of the Republican effort to "reinvent ourselves" and bring new, young people into its ranks.
"Our bench isn't that deep," Barnes said, and newcomers such as Gill offer hope for the future.
Republicans are concerned that without a strong mayoral candidate, they could lose the two GOP incumbents on the City Council, Ken Cockayne and Mike Rimcoski, and perhaps blow their chance to pick up a seat in the wide open 3rd District as well.
The Republican Town Committee’s executive committee apparently has the right to pick Gill’s successor as the party’s mayoral candidate.
Republicans last held the mayor’s office from 2005 to 2007 when William Stortz was at the city’s helm. He opted not to seek reelection.
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

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another fiasco.

Doesn't the whole town committee have to act on a replacement?

Anonymous said...

Bet it is another No Name No Involvement individual.

Or is it Bev Bobroske?

Anonymous said...

Unless it is Krawiecki or Stortz, forget it.

They'll be lucky to grab one seat.

Anonymous said...

Just gives Barns another excuse.

Jack Ben Phil said...

this is really sweet

one-party rule is cool as song as that party begins with a "d"

Anonymous said...

This is unfortunate. I hope people respect the man and wait for him to off his explanation.

Anonymous said...

Wee! Musical chairs! Gotta give the R's some credit though...they sure know how to make us laugh!

Anonymous said...

They didn't get Stortz to run, they don't get my vote!

Anonymous said...

The letter in todays Press is just another reason why the Repubs should have got Stortz to run.

They blew it, and any chance of gaining ground.

Anonymous said...

I can only sit back and laugh.A last minute choice when you had someone who was willing to run with the party but you shunned him and then made him out to be a discontented person. You get what you give. He would not disrupt the party and cause fracture by primarying but he was a chauvanist and trouble maker, so sad trying to reinvent yourself and all you are doing is backing up all the thoughts and ideas people have of the republican party as elitists only wanting the top educated people and not the every day working guy who may not have any college or any political experience , new blood is what you want or is it new blood ion an old package

Anonymous said...

hopefully the unidentified woman is Zoppo. she definitely had enough Rs in her corner last time and her party is still treating her like crap.

Anonymous said...

Run Bill, Run.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans will do anything to keep Stortz from running, including losing the election and a few council seats.

Sad state of affairs for republicans and the city.

Anonymous said...

What the local Republican leadership is doing makes me want to say that I am embarassed to be a Republican.

What are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

August 15, 2009 3:50 PM:

Ms. Z will never run as a Republican. And if the "Rs" support her it'll be a sad thing.

August 15, 2009 7:59 PM:

If they hate Stort that much, that's too bad. The local GOP is pathetic anyway.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic and getting worse.

Certainly will not be an asset to Rell next year: doubt that she will come to Bristol for anyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: have the republicans asked stortz to run? If not, why not? Have they asked anybody else?

Does anybody know?

Certainly they ahve asked other people, maybe for other offices.

Why not mayor?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Zoppo run as a Republican. I think she'd be surprised to see how many Rs actually do like her. The dems did not give her the respect she deserved and Bristol would be better off with a Zoppo than a Ward.

Anonymous said...

11:11, Obviously the majority of voters don't agree with you.

Anonymous said...

3:04 -

Glad the R's are making you chuckle Gary Lawton. Don't forget, you wanted to be one of them...

Anonymous said...

Is she a Republican?

Anonymous said...

If Bill Stortz wants to run for Mayor all he has to do is come to the Town Committee meeting when the replacement is going to be chosen and say I want to run for Mayor. It;s that simple.

No one is going to Kiss his butt after all look at that butt would you want to kiss it?

He's a 73 year old man who has been in the political process for decades. He knows the rules and the process.

Its time he grew up and knock off this nonsense.

Stop hiding behind this blog Bill.

Get out from underneath your desk in the fetal position saying "No one asked me to run --- no one asked me to run" and start acting like a human being.

If you can't say "I want to be Mayor" than how the hell do you expect other peole to do it for you.

You know the damn process.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans have asked Bill Stortz to run.

Anonymous said...

5:38

Who did, and when?

And since they apparently didn't, why are they talking to others.

Anonymous said...

5:38

I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Who did, and what did he say?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Republicans are setting the table to blame Stortz when they don't win in Novemebr

Anonymous said...

He said "No one Asked me!"

Anonymous said...

Strtz blew it in 2007 for the Republicans...now he's on the outside looking in.
Quite frankly no one cares about him, politically that is.

He doesn't have to worry about the blame, the Republicans accept the blame for his two failed admnistrations.

Didn't he get a vote of no confidenece from the City Council for lying about Ocean State moving out?

Anonymous said...

Stortz is not going to happen as a Republican. Stortz is haveing selective memory loss here on this blogg and needs to set it all down before he gets even more embarassing then he already is. He served TWICE and failed TWICE not because he is not knowledgeable but because most people can not stand him as he is the most abrasive sob ever to hold the office.

Go AWAY>>>FAR FAR AWAY Billy boy.

Anonymous said...

9:08


Apparently if they are asking others, and not asking Bill, he gets the message that they do not want him..


The question remains on the table, who asked him; leadership, a tc member, or just a regular citizen.

Obviously the TC doesn't want him, or else they would at least try to meet with him on formal basis.

I can't believe that all of these other people who come and go came forward on their own.


It is Bristols loss, the TC loss, not Bills.

Anonymous said...

7:24, Bristol's loss??? NOT!!!

Anonymous said...

Stortz, whether he ever runs again, or not, has contributed significantly to Bristol.

It would be nice to see him again as mayor, but if not, i hope he stays involved.

Ward would be smart to put him on something like the BOF.

Anonymous said...

There had to be a reason why Zoppo wasn't supported by her own party. Same thing happened to Cindy Scoville in Terryville, and it wasn't for nothing. It's easy to sit on the outside and second guess when you don't know what's been going on.

We need new blood, on both sides of the aisle.

Anonymous said...

12:44

Stortz got the "No confidence Vote" from McCauley, Ellens stooge who thought that SHE would be running for Mayor. Politics.

Never proved that he lied about what he knew or didn;t know that I am aware of.

He IS a man of ethics.

red faced said...

The r's need to play "scrabble" rather than "scramble" and put together the name of a viable candidate or concede - this is becoming very embarassing.

Anonymous said...

It is Friday night.

Do the republicans still have a candidate?