Heated exchange at Waterbury GOP mayoral nomination event

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)–A heated exchange happened Wednesday night as Waterbury Republicans were selecting the candidate to run for mayor.

An outburst happened when none of the city’s Republican committee members seconded the nomination of Alderman Vernon Matthews Jr. for Mayor. Matthews was looking to make Waterbury history by becoming the first black person to ever be nominated for mayor by a majority party.

He exclusively told News 8, “To me, it hurt. It hurt to the point where I had to leave and collect myself quite a few times.”

Rodney Parker said, “For some reason they locked him out. I thought it was unfair. What do you mean locked him out? He couldn’t even get nominated. That’s unfair.”

The GOP nomination went to Ray Work, a small business owner and longtime member of the city planning commision.

The Democrats nominate their candidate Thursday. That’s likely to be the popular incumbent Mayor Neil O’Leary.

If O’Leary wins in November, he could become Waterbury’s longest-serving mayor.

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