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Preston Democrats fail to endorse candidate for first selectman's race

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published July 23. 2013 4:00AM

Preston - The Democratic Town Committee did not endorse a candidate to challenge 18-year First Selectman Robert Congdon Monday after ruling that the one interested candidate is not a registered Democrat.

Vincent Eleazer a long-time Preston resident but political newcomer, sought the nomination, but there was confusion at Monday's Democratic Town Committee caucus about his party affiliation, Town Committee Chairman Jerry Grabarek said. The town committee set a rule at the start of the caucus that endorsed candidates must be party members.

Eleazer is listed as an unaffiliated voter on the town voter rolls.

Grabarek said none of the 20 Democrats in attendance nominated Eleazer and no other candidates sought the nomination.

Eleazer could not be reached for comment Monday night. He would have until Aug. 7 to petition to get on the ballot to challenge Congdon for first selectman.

The town committee unanimously endorsed Lynwood Crary, a member of the Conservation Commission, to run for a selectman seat.

If no petitioning candidates enters the race, there would be no challenge for the entire Board of Selectmen this fall, with Congdon running unopposed for the top seat and two selectmen candidates, Republican incumbent Michael Sinko and Democrat Crary running for the two board seats.

The Democratic Town Committee endorsed David Cannon and Preston Redevelopment Agency Chairman Sean Nugent to run for six-year terms on the Board of Finance - which could become the most contested race in November.

Board of Education member Pauline Andruskiewicz and newcomer Karin Davis were endorsed for the Board of Education, incumbent Frances Coviello and new candidate Anne Stockton for four-year terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission, Lydia Lavoie for a four-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Donna Bowles as the ZBA alternate candidate.

c.bessette@theday.com

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