GREENWICH — Seven Republicans stand at the starting line of an electoral sprint for the Board of Estimate and Taxation. Only six will reach the finish line one month away.
Leslie Tarkington, an incumbent who was not nominated for a new term by the Republican Town Committee, successfully petitioned her way onto the ballot this week.
The Sept. 12 primary will be the first for the BET since the Democratic side of the board held one in 1993.
The Town Charter prevents any party from holding a majority on the 12-person board. Though technically an elected panel, competition usually ends when each party picks its slate of six candidates. Most members, even those who are on for many years, never have to campaign for a single vote.
Now the Republicans find themselves thrust into a sudden contest.
The campaign comes at a time of year when many people are away or not yet paying attention to local politics, presenting concerns about voter turnout. The League of Women Voters of Greenwich will hold a debate among the seven candidates on Sept. 5.
Joining Tarkington on the primary ballot will be the party-endorsed candidates: incumbents Michael Mason, Nancy Weissler and William Drake, and newcomers Debra Hess, Andrew Duus and Karen Fassulioitis.
RTC Chairman Stephen Walko said the party cannot provide financial or other support to candidates during the primary. Individual party members can do so, but not as an official RTC action.
Mason, who is the current chairman, is also the longest tenured member of the BET, having come on the board in 2004 after 12 years on the Representative Town Meeting. After 25 years in local government, a race like this is new for…
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