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Hanson Vows To Fight for Easton's Top Post

EASTON, Conn. — Thomas Herrmann won the Republican's endorsement to run for first selectman during a caucus Tuesday night, but Lee Hanson said the fight is not over yet.

Hanson won 79 of the 212 votes Tuesday. He plans to check back with his team and make sure everyone is on board to move forward.

"I think the fight will probably continue because I think the fight is right," said Hanson. "It's going to look like a nasty campaign — but not from me." Hanson said he won't change from running a "clean race" and won't do anything demeaning or insulting.

A blue flier was handed to each person who attending the caucus Tuesday. It was titled "Caucus Procedure" and described how voters were to vote for Lee Hanson twice — once for the Board of Finance and once for first selectman. Before the caucus, Republican Town Committee Chairman Hugh Barry said the town committee did not give out the flier.

The flier also said Hanson stands for: "Transparency in government, including the citizenry in the process, bringing the power back to citizens through Easton's town meeting and respecting the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of town department heads, boards and commissions."

Andrew Kachele, who serves on the Board of Finance with Hanson, nominated Hanson for the first selectman seat. In his speech, Kachele said there are many volunteers in town, including those on the boards and commissions, who "do it all without any desire or any expectation of additional compensation or return."

"We have the opportunity to elect another selectman that will carry on in that tradition," said Kachele. He said the phrase "power to the people" epitomizes Hanson's actions.

Scott Centrella , who was endorsed for a selectman seat Tuesday, spoke on Herrmann's behalf. He cited Herrmann's accomplishments in his two terms as first selectman, including cuts in town department spending and earning a Triple-A bond rating, which has saved the town nearly $700,000 by refinancing debt.

"He is a moral and ethical person committed to doing the right thing every day," said Centrella, who also noted that Herrmann has "ruffled some feathers along the way," but his job is "not about being anybody's best friend."

After receiving the Republican Party endorsement, Herrmann told the crowd, "I look after each and every tax dollar as closely and diligently as my wife and I look at our own dollars at home."

Sherry Harris, a member of the Republican Town Committee, said the fight for first selectman is "good for the party" because it brought more people to the caucus and caused people to change from unaffiliated to Republican.

"Usually the caucus is only a few people and few contest [the recommendations]. There are people here who have never been to a caucus. ... I'm glad we have challengers," said Harris.

Who do you favor for first selectman among the Republicans, Thomas Herrmann or Lee Hanson? Leave your comments below.

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