Ten Republican delegates from endorsed , 6-4, to run as the GOP candidate for the state House of Representatives 107th District Wednesday night, ousting sitting Rep. David Scribner as the party nominee.
Scribner, citing his electoral record, vowed to seek a primary, which leaves the ultimate decision to the party’s rank and file in August.
Upon setting and reading the rules of procedure for the convention, Bethel delegate Patricia Rist put forward Scribner’s name for nomination, seconded by fellow Bethel delegate Kitty Grant. After those speeches, Brookfield delegates Ryan Murphy and Phil Kurtz nominated and seconded Shaker, respectively.
A roll call of delegates was taken, with the two Bethel delegates, Danbury’s Vickey Hickey (in for Helen Hoffstaetter) and Brookfield’s Bob Belden voting for incumbent Scribner and the remaining six delegates, all from Brookfield, favoring Shaker. (Along with Belden, Brookfield’s delegation included Edward Bossio, Geoffrey Hunton, Kevin McCaffrey, Linda Taylor, Kurtz and Murphy.)
After the convention closed, Shaker said he was “very excited and humbled to think that I may have the opportunity to go to Hartford,” adding that he was pleased with the idea of representing both of his hometowns of Brookfield and Danbury, as well as Bethel.
During his acceptance speech [see video], Shaker noted that the decision to run against Scribner was not an easy one, but one he “made in the best interest of the 107th District.”
“One of my fears is that we’re driving our young leaders and our future out of the state of Connecticut,” he said, explaining his decision to run. “My fear is that we are driving our future away through taxation.”
If elected, Shaker pledged to attempt to reign in spending at the state level while also ensuring that residents of the 107th get a greater share of state funding, particularly when it comes to special education and support for local small business owners.
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“I’m obviously disappointed, but it’s the beginning of the process,” said Scribner, who is currently serving his sixth full term in the state legislature. “I respect the process but this is just part of the process,” he said, adding that he will “absolutely” be seeking a primary.
“I will take the vote of confidence that my constituents have given me time and time again over this,” he said, that saw him garner between 80 and 90 percent of the vote, “And that was with a record to uphold.”
Scribner said the convention’s outcome was not a surprise, as he did not expect the support of the majority of the Brookfield delegation.
According to Scribner, he sent lists of suggested delegates to the three Republican Town Committees (RTCs) in early March, however the Brookfield RTC only appointed one of his choices: Belden.
“Bethel and Danbury honored that request — Brookfield did not,” he said.
According to Brookfield RTC Secretary Matt Grimes, during his time with the RTC, Scribner has been the only candidate for any office to request specific delegates for conventions, a practice that is allowed but generally not utilized. The final roster of delegates is under the discretion of the individual RTCs.
Though not surprised by the outcome, Scribner said he will look to the support of the voters in the primary.
“And they have consistently supported me in the past,” he said.
“I would have been shocked if he didn’t” seek a primary, Shaker said. “I look forward to primarying with him,” he added, as whoever wins “will be a better candidate and a stronger candidate” for having gone through the process.