GOP Chief Labriola Still on the Hot Seat as Town(s) Consider Ouster Votes

As can be expected, when one political party gets swept in statewide and congressional elections, that party’s chief is on the hot seat as they say. Such is the case with Republicans in Connecticut and party chair Jerry Labriola. One Republican town committee (Enfield) has already voted “no confidence” in Labriola. There’s talk of others following suit.

Back in December, the Republican State Central Committee declined to oust Labriola despite the party going ofer November. In fact, young Republican JR Romano (he of the nearly successful upset by GOP candidate for treasurer Tim Herbst); state Rep. Joe Markley and failed (three times) congressional candidate Mark Greenberg all showed various levels of interest in the job should Labriola’s head roll.

Mary Ann Turner

Enfield’s Mary Ann Turner is leading the anti-Labriola charge. “The ERTC is a very active and well informed town committee and have decided to join other Town Committees within the state with a no-confidence vote,” she wrote although declined to say what other towns did the same. “This decision did not come without considerable discussion regarding ongoing concerns with the Connecticut Republican State Central office and its current leadership. Among the reasons stated for no-confidence vote are:
– ineffective leadership, communication, and coordination of the candidate campaigns
– inability to develop a cohesive, clear and concise plan to lead the Connecticut Republicans – over the last four years
– a recent claim that the executive director was on paid leave during the height of the 2014 campaign season because; as stated, the chairman was forced by outside concerns to take such action. Thus, the executive director’s many talents to help with state representative or senate races was lost
– the lack of Republican presence in the media, the lack of leadership in the state, and the total lack of coordinated political activity on a statewide basis, which includes training, mentoring, and ‘lead from the front’ chairmanship”

Turner is a strong Romano supporter.

The Hanging Shad asked several other town committee chairs if they held the same view as Turner. The response ranged from “we’ve got other things to worry about,” to “no, we love Mary Ann [Turner], but it makes no sense to oust [Labriola] now.”

Ridgefield GOP Town Chair Joe Savino said the idea of changing leadership now just didn’t make sense. “There’s always a backlash after an unsuccessful election and we were disappointed in the results and while there’s been talk, ultimately we decided we have our own municipal election coming up and we want to concentrate on that.”

East Windsor Republican Town Chair Bob Leach simply dismissed the idea of getting rid of Labriola before his term is over this summer. “We’re not taking any action. We just don’t see the advantage in doing so.