What's the deal with this primary for Probate Judge? Have you ever seen such energy put into an election campaign (Oops - I mean other than this spring's budget referendum)? Why are New Milford Republicans putting so much energy behind Judge Marty? Who stands to lose here - probate should be pretty simple, right? Would the losers be the people of New Milford? Or a privileged few who might benefit from having a buddy on the bench? (What - me cynical? Nah.)
The Elephants have been working on electing Marty since the beginning of the year. There were plenty of meetings at a Town Councilman's private office, multiple fundraisers, and meet & greets covered by the press (if you can call the Spectrum "press"). There was even a last minute dirty trick by local leader Rog Szendy. Yet, Marty lost the endorsement at the local nominating convention - he only had the support of the New Milford delegates. Apparently the other town delegations were pissed off at Szendy's dirty politicking, and they all supported William DeFeo of New Fairfield. Good job, Rog.
This election was deemed "so important" by the local Elephants that Board of Ed member Lynette Rigdon skipped her BOE obligation (the Education Connection Board of Directors Meeting) in order to be at the nominating convention. Yep - she deemed attending a local probate nominating convention more important than carrying out her duties as an elected member of the BOE. But, worse than that, she didn't want to admit to the public why she missed the meeting. In the minutes of the May 11, 2010, BOE meeting, "Ms. Rigdon said she was unable to get to the last meeting..." Pretty pathetic. But, then again, it shows the importance these clowns have put on this minor election. Still confused? Me too.
The Mayor even got her boyfriend, State Rep. Clark Chapin, to write a letter to the local rags endorsing Marty. Why would he suddenly publicly endorse a candidate - he doesn't put in the same effort for his "partner," much less higher profile offices like Town Council. Why, Clark? Why now?
A few of the New Milford politico's who know both men say DeFeo is honest and acts with integrity. They also like Marty as a person, but are wary of his key backers - the shady NM Republican cabal. Not to be cynical, but the politico's are whispering.
So let's review: DeFeo wins nomination with support from all other towns in the district. New Milford carries on the fight, pouring a great deal of energy and $$ into a fight against a loyal, long standing fellow Republican. Then, throw in that the New Milford Repubs are famous for throwing dirt and dirty tricks, and you get a recipe for skepticism.
Luckily, I can't cast a vote in this primary. If you are an "R," don't blindly follow your local leaders. Ask some questions before you pull the lever on Tuesday. I'm not sure who the best candidate is - but I wouldn't defer to Rog Szenmaster's judgement.