|Russo, an old hand at nominating himself.|
Things have obviously changed.
Today, Dan Russo is being supported by local "official Democrats" in his primary run for Planning and Zoning in tomorrow's (Tuesday September 10) primary.
As member of the Democratic nominating committee this year, he nominated himself, and rejected Democrat Stephen Devoto, an eminently qualified candidate, who later garnered enough signatures to primary against Russo.
Three years ago, town Democratic leaders were not so sanguine about Russo, or his role as Democratic Town Chairman.
They were dismayed that he threw his support, as Town Chair, to Joe Lieberman, then an independent candidate, running against the official Democratic candidate, Ned Lamont. Lieberman went on to win, often voting in the Senate with Republicans, winning him such support from that party that they invited Lieberman to speak at their national convention when John McCain was running against Barack Obama.
In fact, Democratic leaders on the Common Council were so dismayed, they wrote a letter to their Democratic colleagues, and to the public, urging that Russo be removed from his role as Democratic Town Chair.
"We believe we need a Town Chair who will be more involved in the entire Town Committee and not take controversial positions on issues, such as supporting an independent candidate for U.S. Senate and nominating himself as Chair of Planning & Zoning, without Town Committee support. Finally, a Town Chair is now needed who can work effectively with the Democratic Common Council majority beginning now to rebuild our Middletown Democratic Party and ensure a mayoral victory in 2011."
The letter is signed by the eight Democratic Common Council members at the time.
Russo was voted out.
Not so surprising, this chapter of his history does not make it onto his resumé.
Today, the Democratic Town Committee apparently has forgiven Russo's sins. The chairs have been rearranged in the back room and they have endorsed him, and two other newcomers, in a race against Devoto.
While Russo is an old hand at nominating himself for election, Devoto is running with the backing of hundreds of people who signed his petition to run.
Russo has attempted to paint Devoto as a traitor to Democratic principles, when indeed, it appears that it's Russo who is the real culprit.
Vote Only for Stephen Devoto in the primary for Planning and Zoning, Tuesday Sept. 10.
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.