Veteran Republican Tom Morey has taken on the New Milford Democratic Town Committee.

The New Milford native claims the DTC illegally nominated Gale Alexander as its candidate to be the 67th District's state representive.

Morey filed a complaint July 1 with the State Elections Enforcement Committee asking Alexander's name "be stricken from the ballot" for the November election.

"This is obviously a mean-spirited attempt to subvert the two-party system in the town," DTC Chairman Andrew Grossman said. "The Republicans are running scared because we have a strong candidate."

Alexander would be challenging incumbent state Rep. Cecilia Buck-Taylor, who is running for a second, two-year term.

Morey claims because Alexander was nominated at a committee meeting instead of a Democratic caucus, the DTC violated its own bylaws and, therefore, state statute.

"As the result of this statutory violation," Morey said, "I have asked the SEEC to strike Mr. Alexander's name from the November ballot."

Av Harris, spokesman for the Secretary of the State's Office, disputes Morey's claim. He said nomination of candidates is governed by party rules, not state statute.

Audrey Blondin, of the Democratic State Central Committee, also disagrees with Morey's claim.

"There are two ways to nominate candidates," said Blondin, who represents New Milford in the 30th state Senate District on the DSCC. "One is by caucus and one is by town committee. Since the 67th District is a single-town district, the candidate can be nominated at a town committee meeting."

"As far as I know as a DSCC member of seven terms," Blondin said, "Gale Alexander's nomination is perfectly legal and perfectly fine."

Blondin said she has seen this before in towns in which the party in power is challenged by the other party.

"What's going on in New Milford is nothing short of spectacular," Blondin said, "with Andy Grossman leading a strong DTC. I'd advise the Republicans to concentrate on their own candidate's record rather than wasting time on complaints that aren't valid."

Pete Bass, the New Milford Republican Town Committee chairman, said Morey does not represent the RTC in his complaint.

"Mr. Morey, as a concerned citizen, has every right to comment on a political matter of concern to him," Bass said. "Mr. Morey is not a member of the Republican Town Committee."

"This is a Democratic Town Committee issue and is their business," he added. "If we were going to talk about something as Republicans in the town, it would come from the committee."

Alexander, who is a member of the town's Board of Finance, said Monday this is "typical of whenever I run for office."

"It is not required that the candidate for a one-town district be nominated at a caucus," said Alexander, who is also DTC parliamentarian.

Morey insists the state representative's seat is "a town office" and DTC bylaws require such candidates be elected at a caucus.

stuz@newstimes.com