Rep. Nicastro’s retirement opens door for GOP

With the pending retirement of Democrat Frank Nicastro in the 79th district come November—and three of their own incumbents already in place, the Bristol Republicans are poised for a possible clean sweep of the Bristol delegation in November.
State Senator Henri Martin in the 31st district, State Rep. Whit Betts in the 78th district, and state Rep. Cara Pavalock in the 77th district all having formed committees to seek reelection in November, only the Republican choice for the 79th district is missing.
Derek Czenczelewski, the Bristol Republican Town chair said, “We have a few identified potential candidates for the open 79th State House seat that we are currently vetting. Any formal announcements of candidate’s intentions will be contingent on their schedules, not on mine or the Republican Town Committees. Endorsements will be held in May, so I guess technically that would be our deadline. So we’re pretty far along in the process at this point.”
With the retirement of Nicastro—who is a veteran Democrat having served as mayor, councilor, and state representative—Czenczlewski said, “As to our chances of taking the district, obviously with Frank not running our chances have improved. We had put up several strong candidates over the years, all of whom did the legwork and fund raising necessary to win a seat, and all of whom had strong messages.”
“It’s a testament to Frank’s popularity in the district that despite some of our best efforts, we were not able to defeat him,” said Czenczelewski.
There have been several names bandied about as to a successor for Nicastro on the Democratic ticket. An attempt was made to reach to Bristol Democratic Town Chair Dean Kilbourne to see what the party’s plans are to fill Nicastro’s slot. However, he did not return an email at press time.
“It will certainly be interesting to see who the party-endorsed candidates are for the 79th,” said the GOP chair. “I won’t speculate or comment on anything regarding who the Democrats are putting up until that becomes official.”
“But,” Czenczelewski said, “our strategy for victory will remain largely the same regardless of who the opponent is.”
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