Camillo with D8 Volunteers on election day

Published in Connecticut Centinal

Dear Greenwich Republicans,

I am a Greenwich resident of forty years. I am also a mom who was an active Greenwich Public Schools volunteer for eighteen years. An active community volunteer, I was a PTA Board member, Scout Leader and Sunday School teacher. For the past two years I have had the privilege of serving as Secretary of the Republican Town Committee (RTC), as a duly elected representative of District 8. Along with five others, I was endorsed again at this year’s January 9th RTC caucus. All six endorsements won an overwhelming two-thirds of the caucus vote. These endorsements, and others around town are now being challenged in a primary to be held on March 5, 2024. Primary information can be found at the end of this letter.

Two years ago when I ran for RTC at the District 8 Caucus, we were wrapping up the first year of the Biden administration. I believed it was time for a political reset; nationally and locally. My position was simple; The Greenwich Republican party must return to traditional Republican values as stated in the Connecticut GOP Mission Statement. That statement reads as follows:

To Educate Voters and to Grow the Party; To Recruit, Support, and Help Elect Republican Candidates; To Return to Individual Liberty, Affordability, and Common-Sense Government in Connecticut.

As one of approximately 42 new members of the 2022 RTC, I was invigorated by the renewed commitment to traditional values of family, liberty, freedom, prosperity, common sense and integrity. This refreshed RTC would endorse and support strong candidates who do not crumble under liberal demands in the service of false, one-sided compromise. Accountability would be served in the form of conservative pressure. I believed then, as now, that a growing majority of Republicans, Independents and Unaffiliated voters want their elected officials to possess the backbone, integrity and common sense required to counter the cronyism and big-money pressure of liberal policy-makers. I applaud all Republicans who put personal ambition aside for the greater good of keeping Greenwich… Greenwich.

My fellow RTC members and I have worked tirelessly on Republican campaigns, treating First Selectman Fred Camillo and Selectwoman Lauren Rabin as friends. I walked through Cos Cob knocking on doors for their 2021 reelection campaigns. In the two weeks preceding the 2023 election, I personally spent over 100 hours making phone calls, sending emails, prepping collateral, coordinating volunteers, talking with constituents and delivering lawn signs for ALL of our Republican candidates. My commitment to the Greenwich Republican party is unequivocal, and I take my participation on the RTC very seriously, not missing one scheduled meeting.

I am deeply saddened and frustrated at the now-public rift within the Greenwich Republican party. As a member of the current RTC leadership, I take offense at some of the published comments and quotes that have appeared in the press. The community needs to know the truth about the relationship of Republican Selectmen with the RTC. In accordance with RTC Bylaws, all senior elected Republican officials, including Selectmen, are Ex Officio members of the RTC. As such they are invited to participate in all meetings of record. They are free to take the podium and share their opinions, wisdom and counsel, without exception or time limit, in public meetings as well as in executive sessions. A slot on the agenda is always theirs for the asking. Excepting the Chairman, no other member of the RTC gets as much airtime or deference. The RTC leadership has no interest in silencing or “removing” the voices of these town leaders. The suggestion that an elected official must take a precious district slot on the RTC in order to be helpful is disingenuous. I believe regular town residents (who are not politicians) are a source of strength, depth and honest representation in our RTC.

Off-base vilification and disinformation by the far left’s “Indivisibles”, who now dominate our Greenwich RTM, is expected. Their use of “Extremist” and “MAGA” labels on those who adhere to the Grand Old mission of the Grand Old Party is right in line with a national left-wing offensive strategy. Smart Republicans see it for the propaganda it is. Being attacked by members of our own party while we uphold those principles, however, is deeply concerning. For reasons unknown to me, a very small number of fellow Republicans across town joined with our liberal (not Republican) brethren in an effort to rout these traditional principles out of the Greenwich RTC, with caucus challenges on January 9th. What could possibly be their rationale? Is it power? Hubris? Revenge? Do they disagree with our interpretation of the GOP mission? It truly is a head-scratcher.

The next chapter in this drama takes place on March 5th in Districts 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9, when voting members of the Republican party can make their voices heard. The caucus results of these five districts are being challenged by those who believe a general election will better represent the will of their constituents.

This is a Republican-only Primary Election for seats on the RTC in just five districts across town; below see details and my recommendations for Republican Representatives who will uphold traditional Republican values. They have a demonstrated track record of hard work, participation and unequivocal support for all Republican candidates. Most importantly, they share core values of family, liberty, freedom, prosperity, common sense and integrity.

As in all elections, your vote is your strength.

Best wishes,
Gail Lauridsen