New Milford Republicans endorsed Mayor Pat Murphy to run for a fourth term in office Tuesday night.

Some 75 registered Republicans met at The Holiday restaurant and set a slate that held few surprises.

All seated party members on the Town Council are running for re-election with the exception of Joe Failla.

Added to the mix was attorney Cecilia Buck-Taylor, who will be running for her first seat on the council, and Tom Esposito, of the town's Economic Development Commission, also vying for his first term on the council.

Hopeful Bob Sherry was eliminated from running for town council during a caucus vote despite endorsement by the Republican Town Committee.

However, Mr. Sherry will remain on the Board of Finance for two more years where he now serves as chairman.

"Economic development has to be number one in priorities in the town," Mr. Esposito said. "Growth in the tax base will solve many problems that derive from a shortage in funding and will alleviate the homeowner of his heavy tax burden."

"I am strongly in favor of supporting kids and teachers," he said, "and will work to see that money is spent wisely on both of them."

Explaining the caucus support for Mayor Murphy, longtime Republican stalwart Patrick Maguire noted projects she has helped start, including the widening of Route 7 and working with the state to get the Grove Street/Route 67 intersection reconstruction underway.

He noted she has brought projects in on time and within budget.

"New Milford is very fortunate to have Pat Murphy as mayor," Mr. Maguire said.

RTC Chairman Pat Sherry was pleased with the outcome of the caucus.

"We've got a great ticket going forward to the election," Mrs. Sherry said, "a solid slate of qualified people and a great mayor running for a fourth term."