Republican slate mostly empty

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BEACON FALLS — The Republican Town Committee last week endorsed a mostly vacant slate of candidates for the November election.

Most notably, the committee did not endorse a candidate — or someone to hold the spot until a candidate can be found — to challenge incumbent Democrat First Selectman Chris Bielik, who is in his first term. Bielik was endorsed to run again Tuesday night by the Democratic Town Committee.

The Republican Town Committee also didn’t endorse candidates for treasurer, tax collector, Board of Assessment Appeals, library trustees and the Region 16 Board of Education.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, has four members from each town. Two seats are open in every municipal election in each town.

Republican Town Committee Chair Kathy Brown said following the July 23 caucus that no Republican candidates stepped forward for the vacant spots, and there was a lack of interest in running.

“We gave them every opportunity,” she said. “They just didn’t manifest themselves.”

The committee did endorse three candidates.

Michael Krenesky, who has been treasurer since 2011, was endorsed for selectman. Krenesky previously served two terms as selectmen from 2007 to 2011 and 11 years on the school board.

Incumbents Joseph Dowdell and Douglas Bousquet were endorsed for Board of Finance and Zoning Board of Appeals, respectively.

Although the committee didn’t endorse a full slate, a Republican could still step forward to fill a vacancy. A registered Republican in town could petition for a primary, which would require collecting about 45 signatures by Aug. 12. If a Republican candidate is the only one in the primary, that person would automatically be on the ticket.

An independent candidate could also petition to get on the ballot through the Secretary of State’s office.