There will be no caucus to endorse Republican candidates this summer in Southbury.
At a Republican Town Committee meeting last month voters changed the committee's rules to do away with all future caucuses.
Claire Dwyer, Chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said her decision to eliminate caucuses was based on observing other towns.
“I spoke to Republican Town Committees in other towns and found out many of them never held caucuses,” said Dwyer. “I’m not setting a precedent, I’m following what other towns have felt to be beneficial.”
As far as the timing of the decision, Dwyer said there was no specific reason.
“There’s no underlying reason it was changed at this specific time,” she said. “But, we know full well our hands are tied if we had to hold a caucus every election.”
Jeff Krizan, former chairman of the Southbury Republican Town Committee and current candidate for First Selectman, strongly disagreed with the move.
“What was done was degrading and an insult to the democratic process,” he said.
Krizan said although he felt cutting the caucuses was egregious, he does not plan to change his campaign approach.
“I’m running a campaign, I have a plan and I will execute that plan,” he said.
Drew Morton, Chairman of the Southbury Democratic Town Committee said in a statement released today that this move excludes any other registered Republicans from participating in this very democratic process.
“The Southbury Democrat Town Committee chooses candidates through an open caucus, where we welcome all registered Democrats to participate,” said Morton. “One of the most important reasons for registering with a political party is to be able to participate in the candidate selection process whether it be a caucus or a primary.”
“I am shocked that the Republican Town Committee has chosen to keep the selection to a handful of insiders. I couldn't imagine the Democratic Town Committee depriving our community of the chance to have their voices heard. This action by the RTC again displays the kind of arrogance and perhaps even disdain that, as an entrenched party, it holds about fellow Republicans.”