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New Canaan GOP Chief: Caucus Focused on Issues

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Republican Town Committee Chairman James O’Hora attributed the strong turnout for the party's nominating caucus Tuesday to a GOP electorate that was focused on town issues.

More than 2,200 Republicans voted, including more than 1,300 who cast ballots in early voting sessions June 25 and July 12. The turnout was larger than some observers expected. The GOP has had early caucus voting since 2007, and O’Hora thinks it’s “here to stay.”

“We want to strike a balance between giving everyone the opportunity to participate and vote … and maintaining the credibility of the caucus process,” O’Hora said. “The early voting provided that.”

O'Hora said the key issues were the Lakeview Avenue Bridge arbitration controversy, whether to install sidewalks on the southern portion of Main Street and funding for a plan for future town development.  All three were polarizing topics that brought residents to public hearings and meetings of town boards.

“Those issues helped energize the voters,” O’Hora said. “No one can say that this group didn’t focus on the issues.”

Tuesday’s big winner was Selectman Robert Mallozzi III , who defeated Paul Giusti for the party’s nomination for first selectman. The New Canaan Democratic Town Committee will endorse candidates at its caucus on Monday, but no Democrat has announced plans to run for the town’s top office.

O’Hora congratulated Mallozzi on his campaign and for winning by a “very, very comfortable margin,” even with many prominent Republicans supporting Giusti. “He [Mallozzi] is very popular and has very energized supporters. He deserves a lot of credit,” O’Hora said.

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