The elephant in the room


At least for one night, New Fairfield is the Republican epicenter of Connecticut.

A cavalcade of GOP candidates headlined by Linda McMahon and Christopher Shays descended on this neighboring town of Danbury for the monthly Republican Town Committee meeting at the Ball Pond Volunteer Fire Co.

The lineup included fellow Senate hopeful Peter Lumaj; and 5th District congressional aspirants Justin Bernier, Lisa Wilson-Foley, Mark Greenberg and Mike Clark.

Shays and McMahon worked the room, steering clear of each other for the most part while they wooed prospective delegates to the state GOP convention.

It’s all part of a political mating ritual known to rank-and-file Republicans and their Democratic counterparts that the vast majority of voters never get to see.

Hearst Connecticut Newspapers will take readers inside this vetting process this Sunday.

While the paths of Shays and McMahon have crossed at various Lincoln Day dinners, this was a rare taste test between the two GOP rivals.

Both candidates addressed the town committee for about five minutes, with McMahon recounting her personal story of overcoming bankruptcy to achieve prosperity.

Shays avoided eye contact with McMahon, studying his hand-written notes.

When it was Shays’ turn to speak, he said Republicans would be foolish to embrace McMahon a second time as their Senate nominee.

McMahon kept a poker face all the while.


Neil Vigdor