Both when she was only exploring a run for Mayor of the City of Bridgeport and after she officially announced her candidacy, Mary-Jane Foster has proven to be quite adept at fundraising and at hosting meet and greets.
Monday night was no exception as the candidate ventured into neighboring Southport for a fundraiser at The Gray Goose Café on the Old Post Road. According to a member of Foster’s campaign staff, the event was well-attended and extremely successful.
However, that success may have gotten the Chairman of the Fairfield Republican Town Committee in hot water with members of his own party.
According to a source who is an active member in the Fairfield Republican party, GOP Party Chairman James Baldwin actively recruited town residents to attend the cocktail party, which offered suggested contributions at $50 (friend), $100 (benefactor) and $250 (sponsor).
The Fairfield Republican told the Park City Independent that he had received an e-mail from Baldwin and Republican Board of Education Vice Chairman Pamela Iacono that encouraged residents to attend the gala.
“Apparently Baldwin is more concerned with the Democratic Party mayoral race than with what Fairfield Republicans are doing,” said the source.
And what are Fairfield Republicans doing?
The town Republicans are currently engaged in trying to capture the Fairfield First Selectman seat in an upcoming special election. Democratic First Selectman Ken Flatto will be leaving office shortly, joining Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration as Executive Director of Special Revenue.
To date two Republicans have announced their intentions to run for the post being vacated by Flatto. Freshman Representative Town Meeting member David Becker and Board of Finance Chairman Robert Bellitto Jr. will both be vying for the First Selectman position.
State Senator John McKinney has been rumored to be considering throwing his hat into the ring, but at this writing it appears that he will be remaining in the legislature in Hartford.
The source believes Baldwin should be focusing his attention on the First Selectman campaign in Fairfield, rather than becoming involved in someone’s campaign from another community and another party. He further expressed surprise because he believes Baldwin to be “arrogant and high handed” when pushing party members to become involved in local GOP campaigns.
Under Flatto, the Fairfield Democrats have had a virtual stranglehold on the town’s Chief Executive Position. Except for a one term interlude by Republican John Metsopolous, Flatto has held the office for five terms.
Although there may be storm warnings to the west in Fairfield, Foster’s campaign has gotten off to a smooth start, according to the candidate.
When asked Wednesday by the Independent how things were going on the campaign trail, Foster just smiled and said, “Just great. Just great.”
Requests for comment by Baldwin were not answered by press time.