To the Editor:

Sharon Wimberley's July 24 letter in the Spectrum deserves a reply.

Since I have never met Sharon Wimberley or encountered her during my years of work for the Bridgewater Republican Party, I was surprised her letter contained a series of factual misstatements, accompanied by personal attacks on me and my colleagues.

My own feelings have no place in this matter but, for those who are not acquainted with me, I can report that I have been a lifelong resident of Bridgewater, been deeply involved in a broad range of community activities and services, and currently serve as an Planning and Zoning Commission alternate and vice chairman of the Bridgewater Republican Party.

Since her letter may reflect imperfect information that was provided to her, I would like to take this opportunity to explain the long established nominations process of our party.

Over the last few weeks, we, the nominating committee, met with seven people requesting the endorsement of the RTC.

We listened to what each had to say in an open forum. We asked a few basic questions about his or her qualifications for the job. We then discussed each candidate and voted on whom we felt would do the best job if elected.

No choice was easy.

Telling anyone we think someone else would do a better job risks offending that person, and we didn't mean to. All our discussions were private to preserve the dignity of each candidate and we will not report on the specifics of our discussions.

Our work was not completed until the Sunday morning before the caucus.

We did find three to be much better qualified. That they were from outside our party did not matter. Both the RTC and the DTC endorse candidates from outside their parties.

Experience in town service, familiarity with the issues of the boards, skills and expertise directly related to the duties of the boards, all served our decision.

Our town committee has been told that "politics in Bridgewater is a dirty game and you have to be tough."

Tough can be a good quality if it means persistence in the face of difficulty -- but is not synonymous with "mean spirited."

Our small town is sorely abused by the mean spirit evident in the Wimberly letter.

I remember a beloved First Selectman, Doug Johnson, whose toughness was not built on a mean spirit but a respect for all in the town.

I call for toughness in our better natures that, when we serve, it is for a greater, for all.

Edward S. DeVoe

Chairman

Republican nominations committee Bridgewater