New Milford’s “furry” delegate not planning a political comeback
NEW MILFORD — Former Town Council member Scott Chamberlain resigned last fall after residents learned he is part of the “furry” fandom— a group of people who love and dress up as cartoon animals.
Some in the furry fandom participate in or write about sex, sometimes while inhabiting their character. But Chamberlain has said he is in the community because of his love for cartoon animals.
So Chamberlain’s political return — if only for a moment — has drawn attention on social media.
Last month he represented New Milford as a delegate at the congregational and statewide Democratic conventions.
“If you’re interested in politics and there is a political convention going on, it's like being a football fan and finding out there’s a football game on,” he said.
Chamberlain had signed up to be a delegate for the statewide convention in Hartford, but voted as an alternate at the congregational convention.
He signed up to be a delegate, as any registered Democrat in town can, said Mary Jane Lundgren, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee. Delegates do not need to be members or former members of the town committee.
“The process is open to Democrats, any Democrats” she said.
Lundgren said it is a challenge to find volunteers who want to spend their weekend at the convention and that many people often drop out because of other obligations.
“People have family, jobs all kinds of legitimate reasons why they can’t make it,” Lundgren said. “We always try to have alternates.”
Chamberlain described the conventions as “exciting,” but said he has no plans to jump back into local politics, especially in light of the town’s failure to pass a budget and other mistakes he said the Republicans have made.
“I don’t think there's anything particularly attractive into getting into the New Milford political fray at the moment,” Chamberlain said. “It's kind of a mess.”
Chamberlain resigned from his town and party positions and dropped out of the Town Council race in September after residents posted on a New Milford Facebook group about his involvement in the “furry” subculture.
What had upset residents were screenshots from Chamberlain’s profile on a private website catering to “furries.” The profile includes a list of Chamberlain’s “loves,” “likes” and “hates ” -- some sexual in nature -- but also said that he “tolerates” rape scenarios in online stories.
He’s known as “Gray Muzzle” online, and a costumed fox-like character sometimes shows up on his Twitter feed.
Some residents again posted on the New Milford Facebook group over the weekend, saying they were disappointed Chamberlain participated in the convention.
Mike Barnes, chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said the Democrats could send who they wanted to the convention.
“The Democrats are entitled to put up whoever they wish,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been my choice.”
He would have opposed Chamberlain as a delegate because of the “pornographic” stories involving animals Chamberlain posted on “furry” websites.
But Chamberlain said he is now no longer a public official and his private business is just that.
“As far as I can see to the infinite future, I have no plans to change the status,” he added.
Chamberlain is unsure whether he would be a delegate at a convention again. He said it is a hectic weekend with early mornings and long nights.
“I’m still recovering from this year and we still have a primary to go through,” he said. “Let’s get through that and I’ll deal with the convention in a couple years in a couple years.”