According to a press release distributed after Monday's Common Council meeting, Republican Council members Phil Pessina and Joe Bibisi "have filed petitions Monday to be candidates for reelection on the Working Families Party and the Independent Party."
Bibisi and Pessina were dropped as candidates for the council by the Republican Town Committee. They have accumulated enough certified signatures to run for those seats as independents. They have also collected enough votes to run on the Working Families Party line, however they must be endored as candidates by the Working Families Party.
Democrat Steven Devoto, who announced yesterday that he had collected enough signatures to force a primary for the election of members to the planning and zoning committee, also announced yesterday that he, and fellow Democrat Steve Smith, had collected enough signatures to run for the P&Z with the Working Families Party. This run must also be endorsed by the Working Families Party.
The Republican Town Committee is scrambling to find a candidate to run for their vacant seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
In announcing his run, Pessina pledged to work "in the best interest of the city."
Pessina and Bibisi had been criticized by RTC chair William Wilson and former mayor and RTC member Sebastian Giuliano for not being critical enough of a merger of city departments, or the proposed city budget. Pessina provided copies of emails sent by the pair early in the year emphasizing their disapproval of Bibisi's and Pessina's votes.
"The residents of the City of Middletown will be the political party to which we answer," Pessina said. "Although we will be the minority on the Council, we will be the watch dogs for our residents, seeing that the council operates in the public favor, and not the political parties favor."
Disclaimer: Ed McKeon is a Democratic member of the Board of
Education (running under the Ed4Ed banner), an associate and friend of
Devoto, a volunteer for Devoto's primary run, and a co-founder of the
Middletown Eye. Ed McKeon is also a friend of Stephan Smith, both of
whom were members of the Blue House Group, LLC, who worked to
successfully renovate and sell a distresed home in their neighborhood.