Republican members of the town's Legislative Council are meeting tonight to interview two candidates who have expressed an interest in filling the council seat being vacated by state Rep.-elect Mitch Bolinsky.
Per Town Charter, the replacement must be from the same political party as Bolinsky, a Republican member of the Legislative Council, and it's up to GOP members on the council to select the person.
Bolinsky, a finance and marketing professional, narrowly beat Democrat Lisa Romano in the race for the 106th District seat to represent Newtown in Hartford — and a recount last week upheld his victory.
Jeff Capeci, chairman of the Legislative Council, said two candidates have expressed an interest in filling the vacancy. They are:
- Neil Chaudhary
- Tom Long
While Capeci said Long and Chaudhary are not widely known in town, including among members of the Republican Caucus, each is active in the community. Chaudhary is a member of Newtown's Tick-Borne Disease Action Committee and Long serves on the Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers.
The candidates will be interviewed tonight during an Executive Session of the Ad Hoc Appointment Committee (the Republican Caucus) at 6 p.m. in Town Hall South. Both Long and Chaudhary did not return calls late Monday afternoon requesting comment.
“I have no idea which way it’s going to go at this point,” Capeci said.
If Republicans cannot reach a decision, by majority vote, in 30 days from when the vacancy was created (Nov. 6) then the remaining members of the council would take up the matter of filling the vacancy.
The replacement would automatically serve on the same committees that Bolinsky did: Ordinance, and Finance and Administration. Bolinsky served as vice chairman of the Ordinance Committee.
Capeci described Bolinsky as an outspoken member of the Legislative Council. "No one will replace Mitch," he said, "however I am hopeful we will find a replacemet who will be an effective member."
Bolinsky could not be reached for comment yesterday.
If all goes as planned, Capeci said the decision would be formalized at the Dec. 5 meeting of Legislative Council. While there are some business items like open space, among others, on the agenda for that meeting, Capeci said the town budget will be the council's most important work ahead.
“That’s the next biggest thing,” he said.