Gatsas, others shut out as city GOP taps delegates
MANCHESTER - City Mayor Ted Gatsas was among several well-known city Republicans left off a list of 33 delegates selected Wednesday by the Manchester Republican Committee to be a voting member at the next state Republican annual meeting.
"Probably just a shrug of the shoulders," was how Gatsas described his reaction to learning that he hadn't been elected in a caucus the city Republicans held Wednesday. "I didn't even hear about it until 4:30 (p.m. Thursday)."
Greg Moore, the former chief of staff of the state House of Representatives who was among the 33 selected, confirmed that Gatsas and city Alderman-at-large Joseph Kelly Levasseur were among those not selected.
The delegates vote on state party rules and will select the party's next chairman, as Chairman Wayne McDonald has said he is not seeking reelection. Nashua's Jennifer Horn and Bristol's Andrew Hemingway are running for the post.
Moore said that of the 33 delegates and one alternate selected, just two - U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta and former Executive Councilor Raymond Wieczorek - were not at the meeting.
"I think the results show that the people attending generally were selected," Moore said. "If (Gatsas had) attended, I'm sure he would have been selected. But as mayor, I'm sure he had a lot of other responsibilities."
Some members advocated for a slate of certain candidates, but there was no campaigning against any individual, Moore said. He said one member made a motion, which ultimately failed, to only allow candidates who showed up to Wednesday's caucus to be selected as delegates and that the lengthy discussion of the motion may have contributed to members selecting delegates based on who attended the meeting.
"I think that really was the driving factor," he said.
"I didn't see any effort whatsoever to exclude Mayor Gatsas," he said. "Certainly that was not prevalent at all in any way, shape or form."
Gatsas said he is concerned about competing factions in the state Republican Party.
"We're divided," he said. "We're not doing anything to unite ourselves. There's no big tent aspect.
"It's a contentious fight," said Gatsas, who said he not endorsed either Horn or Hemingway for the chairman post. "The Republican Party hasn't figured out how to come together."
Moore said he didn't believe the state party was divided or contentious.
"I think there are certain various groups within the party," he said. "That's nothing new. That's been the case for years."
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Tim Buckland may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.