By MIKE CHAIKEN
The Republican slate is now in place following last week’s party caucus.
Leading the ticket will be incumbent Mayor Ken Cockayne, who is facing Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, the Democrat he beat in 2015.
Asked about the party’s slate, Jeffrey Caggiano, the town committee chair, said, “Dave Mills, Eric Carlson, Tony D’Amato, and Jodi Zils-Gagne (the incumbent GOP candidates for council. Carlson lost his seat in 2015) have all served under Ken’s leadership on council.”
“Cheryl Thibeault has done an outstanding job as Board of Finance chair in conjunction with Ken, and our relative newcomer Andrew Howe, has been serving on Planning and Zoning Commission, and has significant life experiences that are worthy of anyone’s respect.”
“T.J. Barnes as treasurer, is the envy of the nation,” said Caggiano.
“Without question, this team has the experience and strength to continue to lead Bristol in the right direction,” said the town committee chair. “There is more to do and with a looming $5.1 billion state deficit over the next two years, it will be important to stay the course locally and trust the current Republican Team to finish the job they started.”
The Republican slate endorsed at the caucus were
Treasurer- Thomas Barnes
1st Council District – Anthony D’Amato, and Eric Carlson
2nd Council District – Jodi Zils-Gagne, and Andrew Howe
3rd Council District – David Mills, and Cheryl Thibeault
Board of Assessment Appeals- Mary Alford, and Stacey Raymond.
At the caucus, the local town committee welcomed former city mayor Mike Werner.
Caggiano, who noted Werner was the youngest mayor in the city’s history and longest serving Republican mayor, said Werner “identified a few key points from his tenure that he sees taking shape in Bristol now.”
Caggiano explained Werner “instituted changes to our pension plan that allowed us to invest more wisely. This administration continues the strong fiscal management and discipline that makes ‘Bristol the envy of the State.’ Not only are we fully funding our pension obligations but we have the strongest bond ratings and a healthy rainy day fund.”
“Although Mike Werner’s pro-business stance brought in ESPN, during his tenure,” said Caggiano, “he was impressed with the Bristol Hospital project in Centre Square, and the growth of the Southeast Bristol Business Park with the arrival of Pods, GMN, and others.”
Werner also commented, reported Caggiano, that “blight and crime control… (are) tremendous achievements that allow Bristol to attract people and businesses where overall the state is losing people.”
Comments? Email mchaiken@bristolObserver.com.