HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Fed up with the Republican Party nationally and in our state, a group of West Hartford Republicans is leaving the Grand Old Party and re-igniting “A Connecticut Party.”
That party was founded by former Governor Lowell Weicker in the 1990s.
West Hartford’s town council is dominated by Democrats – who hold six seats to the three seats held by Republicans. But for the former GOP members, the January 6 deadly chaos at the nation’s Capitol was the last straw.
Lee Gold a current Town Councilman says, “We fill the void that has been left by the extreme views of both parties.”
Most recently the ousting of Former GOP leader, Congresswoman Liz Cheney angered them. She was critical of the former President and it cost her.
Rick Bush says politics are about voices coming together to create a democratic understanding of how we are to exist as a society. “That understanding is broken and it’s been consumed by a cult of personality.”
These four West Hartford politicoes admit bolting the Republican Party and re-igniting “A Connecticut Party,” founded by Weicker is a risk but they hope it opens minds.
They want a voice for the socially moderate fiscally conservative middle.
“The premise 30 plus years ago and why the ‘A Connecticut Party’ was founded, hold true now today more than ever.”
Mark Merritt, stepped down as the Grand Old Party Chair for the town. He says having that central voice and looking at issues is critical. “More importantly working together for ideas and asking how do we build our future how do we build our vision for our community?”
They all filed paperwork at town hall changing their party affiliation and will collect signatures to get “A Connecticut Party” on the local ballot for the November municipal election.
“There has been an independent streak here in Connecticut so why not have that approach now in 2021?” asked Merritt. “I grew up at a time when tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan would sit down and have lunch every day.”
“This is much larger than me, much larger than the people that are here and are bold enough to stand up and represent the middle,” said Rick Bush one of the new “A Connecticut Party ” members.
Roni Rodman another member says being a woman in politics can be brutal. “Yes, you’re being the “B-word”. I can’t say it. It never matters what you do. It’s never enough.”
Unsolicited her college-aged son – a new voter – says the vicious political division among the two-party system has to stop. And suggested she start a third party.
“Alec that’s exactly what we’re doing. it was very cool to see a 20, 21-year-old kid think that and not be prompted. it just proves that something is just really wrong. And this I the way to fix it,” said Rodman.
The next step for this group is to get a slate of candidates together to run for the November election. All four said they are throwing their hats in the ring.
Their website goes live next week www.AConnecticutParty.com.