Posts tagged ‘Candidates’

November 5th, 2016

Saturday Presidential Roundup

by Christopher O'Brien

If you haven’t made up your mind on the Presidential election, you’re not alone.

Through interviews, we’ve found many voters still fraught with the choice of two popular -and also unpopular candidates, and trying to determine if there is an alternative. Each day until the election, we will attempt to provide links on the news of the day for each of the most plausible 5 Presidential candidates. Four are on the ballot in Connecticut, and a write-in candidate has a probability to earn electoral votes.

First, we’ll briefly highlight the event of the day for each campaign. Then, we’ll cover a policy issue for each. Finally, we understand that some folks might weigh their decision between two candidates based upon polling data. We’ll provide the approximately projected Electoral Vote count nationwide.

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March 11th, 2016

The March Republican Primaries

by Christopher O'Brien

vote boxIn the long marathon known as the Presidential race, there is often confusion in how we select our next President. Here, we’ll break down the rules and various issues that come up during the process.

One of the many myths disseminated during this primary season is that delegates selected after March 15th are awarded on a winner-take all basis. Not true! So let’s discuss.

First though, on Thursday the US Virgin Islands selected 9 delegates to the Republican Convention. Usually, this isn’t news, but it was determined that the US Virgin Islands will leave their 9 delegates as uncommitted towards any candidate thus far. The prospect of a potential brokered convention leaves the territories delegates to be potential power brokers. Residents of the Caribbean island territory cannot vote in the general election, yet in this way their voices will make impact on the future of our nation.

Before we continue talking about the next delegate races, let’s talk about the value of race thus far. John Kasich has the fewest delegates in the race, but a win at home in Ohio will be pivotal. He will more than double his delegate count, but a win will give him credibility in the industrial MidWest and potentially across the north and into New England states that have yet to vote. He is presenting himself as the most moderate candidate and could also have appeal on the West coast if he gains traction. Thus far, he has had strong 2nd place finishes in New Hampshire and Michigan.

Marco Rubio is appealing to a similar crowd as Kasich. He also has to win his home state of Florida, and not just for the delegate count. In the general election, Florida has the fourth most electoral votes of any state and has been one of the most important states to win in past Presidential contests. Florida also comprises a diverse population similar to the states that will vote in the upcoming months.  Many residents hail from the north and northeast as transplants and still have younger relatives back home. Winning his homestate could propel the former House Speaker to win other contests in the north with broad appeal. His generational theme may also have stronger resonance.

In contrast, Ted Cruz’s natural base in the Southern and Plains states have already mostly voted. He took advantage of that base and positioned himself well as the leader with political experience. If Kasich and/or Rubio go on, there will be a fight as to whether Cruz should consolidate the support he has already enjoyed or if his appeal can broaden to those less religious northern states. Unlike Rubio and Kasich, he already won his home state. This is not a typical election year framed by passed conventions. Demographics of the Republican race show that policies and style have been more important than traditional routes of the past. Cruz may pull it off, especially because of his lead and a strong anti-Trump sense within the party. What remains to be seen is if his more traditional style will change the electoral college map in November’s general election.

Donald Trump’s mission is to simply continue what he’s already been doing. With the delegate math, reaching the magic delegate number is still not easy for him because he’s only won about 33% of the delegates allocated thus far. If he is strategic about focusing on winner-take-all races where he can wrack up large numbers of delegates with on only a plurality of the vote, he may be able to garner 50% of the delegates faster. With a fragmented race, he will need to appeal to a certain percentage of Rubio or Kasich supporters if they drop out. If he wins outright though, it still won’t be until very late in the process – perhaps in the last few electoral contests. The races in Ohio and Florida will be very telling.

Let’s move to the week ahead.

The District of Columbia’s 27,472 registered Republicans will vote on Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm. This should be an interesting race because all of these Republicans are urban dwellers. They only comprise about 6% of all voters in D.C. and will vote at a single polling location (the Loews Madison Hotel on 15th Street). Many likely have transplanted from somewhere else yet are so close to the very seat of power that the candidates are running against. What would it say if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz won this race? Or would Rubio or Kasich be proud to promote the win of their 19 delegates as they take their race to voters who are mad at capital city itself?

Whatever the outcome, it is a reminder that everyone is a citizen of our nation, even those who may be employed by it or have the greatest influence on it. Each citizen only has one vote at the ballotbox, no matter their position.

The Republican or Democratic Party are both privately affiliated organizations, so they choose how their nomination rules are chosen. The US Constitution doesn’t govern this phase of the race at all. Both major parties have general rules that govern their July nominating conventions, but allow each of the respective states to decide how to assign their state delegates to a candidate.

In the District of Columbia, if a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, then that candidate will receive all 19 delegates. That has only occurred in one race thus far, when Marco Rubio won 75% of the vote in Puerto Rico last week. If no one receives 50%, then the delegates will be assigned proportionately to candidates receiving at a 15% threshold.  The Green Papers website has compiled the rules for each race.

So let’s move to the pivotal races on Tuesday, March 15th. Five large states will be voting. Two of them will assign delegates in a winner-take-all format: Florida and Ohio which just happen to be the home states of Senator Rubio and Governor Kasich. They are expected to do well there, but Trump is making a strong play in both to block them from proceeding further. The other three states will award delegates more proportionally. North Carolina will grant one delegate for every 1.39% of the vote each candidate receives. This totals 79 delegates and will be a great opportunity for even lesser candidates to try running up their numbers. There is no threshold requirement.

Missouri has a winner-take most format with two formats. First, candidates will gain 5 delegates for each of the state’s 8 Congressional districts won. So, a candidate who does strongly around St. Louis could win delegates without winning the state. Geography could be used to one’s advantage here. The statewide winner will receive an additional 15 delegates.

Illinois has a confusing “Loophole” format. I’m not really sure how it works, but it seems to be a semi-proportional system where delegates themselves may also have an option to disregard the selection of the people. The reason they could do this is that in many states delegates are chosen separately from the Presidential Preference Poll, as some contests are called. A voter may indicate their “preference” for a candidate, but that vote is not always binding, depending the state’s rules. This isn’t a concern in most states, because delegates are usually bound by the preference of voters – even if a delegate might favor someone else. In North Carolina, delegates are chosen through a series of caucuses and conventions that begin at the county level, then the congressional level, and ultimately at the State level. These conventions also serve to nominate other candidates for Congress and the state.

I this is somewhat helpful in understanding this process further. The best way to ensure that you have a voice in the process is to register with a party due to the influence that parties have in the selection of Presidential candidates. If you wait until November, there is usually only two major party candidates. Voting in the primary will allow you even more selections on who those candidates will be.

As a party member, you may also opt to attend local party meetings at the Town level. It is a good way to receive news about policy decisions that affect local education, taxes, and other issues. Those town committees also fill vacancies in town government and send delegates to state conventions. Even if you are not a delegate, simply knowing about these events will allow you to be a participant or observer at these functions and ensure they are run fairly.

October 29th, 2015

Election Ballot Available

by Christopher O'Brien

Unsure who’s running? Want to view a sample ballot before Tuesday’s election?

We have you covered. Click HERE to view the offices and candidates for next week’s election.

Have an opinion about what issues you care about? We’re accepting Letters to the Editor until late Friday evening. Just e-mail them to . Please limit them to about 500-600 words at most.

2015 Wolcott Municipal Elections Sample Ballot

October 21st, 2015

Candidates Forum Thursday

by Christopher O'Brien

vote boxDo you know who you’ll be voting for in November?
Every two years voters will renew or change the neighbors who represent them in town government, and this year is no exception. The Junior Women’s Club will host a “Meet the Candidates” forum Thursday, October 22nd in the Tyrrell School gym. The event is free and refreshments will be provided.

Current Mayor

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November 6th, 2013

2013 Election Results

by Christopher O'Brien
Wolcott High was jammed with voters at 6 pm Tuesday

Wolcott High was jammed with voters at 6 pm Tuesday

About 48.5% of registered voters showed up to the polls Tuesday according to data released by the Town Clerk on Wednesday. That’s about four points higher than the average for the past four municipal elections. An aggressive campaign by Democratic candidate Michael Gugliotti against five term uncumbent Tom Dunn likely fueled added interest in the race this year. In contrast, only 35% of voters showed up to vote in 2005 when Dunn ran unopposed but other local seats were up for grabs.

2013 Town Election Results

For the first time in several years, no candidate came close enough to force a recount.

Out of the 5,429 voters who turned out for the election, five candidates recieved over 3,000 votes: Mayor Dunn, Third District Councilor Roger Picard, Board of Education member Roberta Leonard, Constable Paul Gallucci, and Town Clerk Debbie Slater, who was uncontested. Dunn received 4,155 votes.

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November 6th, 2013

Tynan Captures Tax Collector; Dunn Cruises in Sweeping Victory

by Christopher O'Brien
Mayor Thomas G. Dunn hugs a supporter

Mayor Thomas G. Dunn hugs a supporter after winning re-election Tuesday night.

By Chris O’Brien

Despite a last minute appeal for change by Democratic nominee Michael Gugliotti, voters overwhelmingly returned Thomas G. Dunn to the Mayor’s office with 78% of the vote. Gugliotti received about 16% of the vote and Petitioning Candidate Steven Olmstead received 6% in his second bid for Mayor.

Hayley Conroy leans in to help her mother Cheryl vote at Tyrrell School

Hayley Conroy leans in to help her mother Cheryl vote at Tyrrell School

However, all eyes were on the Tax Collector’s race where where current Municipal Agent Darlene Tynan defeated Cheryl McQueen Brundage by about 350 votes. All vote tallies did not include absentee ballots. The final count will be available Wednesday morning.

There was standing room only at the VFW as family, friends, and well-wishers packed the hall.

“They sent out the report cards. Before I got all F’s,” giving reference to a piece of campaign literature received by many voters. “But tonight I received all V’s (for victory)!” said a beaming Tynan of her win.

(Correction: We originally reported the wrong candidate had won a seat to the Town Council from District 3. Joe DelBouno won that seat. We regret the error but thank a reader for the correction.)

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October 29th, 2013

2013 Municipal Election Guide

by Christopher O'Brien

vote clipartHere we will provide links to stories about this year’s election. Check back often for updates.

Latest Update: Tuesday 3 pm -Endorsements added: Board of Education; Tax Collector, Treasurer, and Town Council; Mayor

Tuesday 11 am – video of speeches by Michael Gugliotti, Neil O’Leary and Bridget Dunn


1. Wolcott Ballot  – Here’s where you can see who’s running for each office and where their name will appear. Be sure to scroll down on the link to see BOTH sides of the ballot!

2. Not registered to vote yet? You can still vote in this year’s Election. Go to Town hall on Tuesday between 6 am and 8 pm with proper ID. Your ballot will be counted separately pending verification of your identity.

3. Want to meet the candidates and hear them speak? Tom Dunn and Michael Gugliotti each are holding wrap-up rallies Sunday. Republicans will join Dunn at the VFW at 6 pm. Democrats will join Gugliottiat J&M Pizza  at 7 pm. Refreshments will be served at each event and the public is invited. This may be your last chance to meet the candidates and ask them questions in person before Tuesday.

4. Name That Job – Do you know what a Town Treasurer does? How about a Zoning Board member? Click on this link to see descriptions for each elected official and what skills might be good for those candidates.

5. Go to WLCT96 to see candidates talking about why they are running. They presentations were at the annual Meet The Candidates night sponsored by the Junior Womens’ Club.

6. The Mayor’s Race has been the most competitive in ten years. Here’s a snapshot of that race. Profiles and links to candidate websites where you can see the candidate’s platforms in their own words, are below.

7. The race for Tax Collector has been equally intense. Cheryl McQueen Brundage faces her first election for the office and is being challenged by Darlene Tynan.

8. We know you’re here because you want the honest truth about candidates. You want to feel comfortable with your choices. Unfortunately, campaigns often get ugly and its hard to know what’s fact from fiction. In this section, we’re try to give you the background on issues… and call out what’s just an exaggeration… or if there may be some truth:

a) Tax Collector: Does Darlene Tynan really deserve an “F”? (coming soon)

b) Dirty Water: Mike Gugliotti accuses Tom Dunn of violating the Charter. Did he? (coming soon)

9. Candidate Profiles. Here they are. Keep checking back as we update this list. The number after the office shows how many profiles there are for each. In reverse order by office:

Zoning Board of Appeals   1 / 6

Board of Education – Democrats  3/6

1st District Town Council  2/6

Town Treasurer 3/3

Tax Collector’s race – article 2/2

Mayor 1/3

November 5th, 2012

Wolcott Election Ballot

by Christopher O'Brien

Wolcott’s Ballot is below. Residents can choose any ONE candidate for each of FIVE offices.
Some candidates appear on more than one party, which means that they have been endorsed by those political parties. The candidate is elected based upon the total number of votes they receive from ALL lines that they appear. Voters should only fill in the oval for ONE candidate for each office, evne if they appear more than once. This ensures an accurate count.

Wolcott Ballot

In some towns, redistricting has shifted voters from one polling place to another, but this has not happened in Wolcott. Since the overlapping districts include the entire town, there was no need to do so.

District 1 – Tyrell Middle School (south entrance)

District 2 – Wolcott High School

District 3 – Wakelee School (gym – park in back)

August 12th, 2012

Andrew Roraback

by Christopher O'Brien


Andrew Roraback is the 5th generation of his family to live in the northern Litchfield County and comes from a long tradition of Rorabacks schooled in law and politics. One of his relatives, Henry Roraback was the most power Republican from 1912 and 1935, having passed the State Bar without any schooling and also founding CL&P. Another prominent relative is Catherine Roraback who was the lead attorney in the landmark Supreme Court Case Griswold vs. Connecticut. That case established expanded privacy rights under the ‘penumbra of the Constitution” and is given credit for the later Roe v. Wade case in 1972 legalizing abortion.

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August 7th, 2012

Dan Roberti: Support of Donovan Conditional

by Christopher O'Brien

Dan Roberti at a debate in LitchfieldA Democratic candidate in the 5th Congressional District said his support of one of his opponents, if they win the nomination on Aug. 14, is conditional.

Dan Roberti of Kent told WFSB’s Dennis House on Sunday that he’s not able to support House Speaker Chris Donovan should he be become the party’s nominee in the three-way contest, if he learns Donovan knew what his former campaign staffers were doing.

“I need to know a lot more about what’s going on with the investigation,” Roberti told House during a taping of Face the State. “I certainly wouldn’t be able to support someone if it comes between now and that point that he indeed had knowledge of this issue.”

Continue Reading here….