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Democrats Question Bourne's Motives

Dan Drew, the Democratic Town Committee Chair and others wonder at Christine Bourne's bid to force a primary for mayor.

Longtime city treasurer Christine Bourne raised more than a few eyebrows this week when she said she intended to challenge Democratic mayoral candidate Dan Drew in a primary.

Bourne, a Democrat, was recently passed over by her party for the city treasurer nomination. She believes the snub was "payback" for her support of the mayor in the ongoing dispute over Board of Education spending practices.

As for her own mayoral bid, she said Monday that "It's something I always wanted to do.”

Still, some are questioning her motives, noting that Bourne only applied to the nominating committee for the city treasurer position, having run largely uncontested for the position in nearly every election. She has served as treasurer for 16 years.

As for endorsing Quintin Phipps, chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission, for city treasurer instead of Bourne, Democrats say Phipps had greater experience. 

Bourne thinks differently.“My understanding is that person never interviewed for treasurer,” Bourne said. “It seemed like [the Democrats] already made their decision.”

In fact, Bourne said, “The rumor is Quintin Phipps didn’t even apply for the city council — he was recruited."

Quintin Phipps comes with a banker’s experience,” Democratic Town Committee Chair Lisa Santangelo countered. With the economy still on shaky ground, she said, “we’re going to have to be very creative with financial things the way they are.”

Drew said he welcomes Bourne’s challenge. “The bottom line here for me is the city of Middletown needs a new leader,” Drew said.

“I don’t think a primary is a bad thing. It’s a healthy part of the democratic process. She has every right to run. I look forward to a debate about the issues.”

Nevertheless, a Democratic party member who asked not to be named, said he believes the Republicans are behind Bourne’s bid.“They’ve been planning this for a long time,” the source said. “The whole intention is to bleed Dan Drew of money and bloody him up going into the general election against Seb, because Seb desperately needs the help.”

Bourne called the assertion "silly."

“I was the highest vote-getter last time around out of all the positions — Council, mayor, everybody,” she said. “I attribute it to my community involvement. I’m active in the community, I grew up in the community, my husband grew up in the community, my mother and father both grew up in the community.” 

Santangelo is unconvinced. “None of it makes any sense to me," she said. "Usually you primary for the position you didn’t get ...."

In hoping to capture the Democratic nomination and run against your boss, Santangelo said, “that assumes the current mayor is not doing a good job. She was never vetted for the spot. How do you run against a person you obviously feel is doing a good job?”

Still, Santangelo said she thinks a primary will have a positive effect overall for Democrats.

“Someone said the last time there was a Democratic primary, the following fall, we had the largest turnout ever … and the winner won the primary by the biggest margin ever,” Santangelo said.

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John Kilian July 28, 2011 at 05:09 PM
In the event that the challenger collects enough signatures, the Realistic Balance Party will likely postpone its final decision on who to nominate for Mayor until after the primary.
Arthur Fonzarelli July 28, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Here is what happened: 1) "The Bourne Identity" blew the whistle on the Dem controlled BOE which has a lot to hide. "Hey, Teddy where does your son go to school?" asked a concerened taxpayer. "Oh, really we pay $133,000 a year for him to go to Cape Code." 2) The Dems lead by Lisa "I Love Sal" Santangelo decided to give "The Bourne" the boot becasue she thought for herself and didn't go along with the group mentality. (Note Dems that were kicked out: Filer, Debbie, Maria, Elizabeth B., Adams, and now Bourne) Who's next? 3) Phipps wanted to run for Council. Everybody in town knows this to be a fact. I bet he will release a pro-Dem statement in a few hours. 4) The Individual who asked not to be named said:"The whole intention is to bleed Drew of his money..." Stop it! Was it Lisa? Was it Bob Santangelo? Was it their dog? Come on give me a break. 5) GOP PLOT: Okay, let's get this straight. A group with very few members can get together to organize a plot to - A) Get the DEms to toss off "The Bourne" B) Get "The Bourne" to primary Mountain Drew C) Assassinate RFK-- Not Plausible folks. Let's get real! 6) They Dumped "The Bourne" - Well, Q has more experience. Nope, Quentin will follow orders and "The Bourne" wants to expose corruption. Follow the money people! 7) Scared: What are the Dems so scared of???Mmm, connect the dots.. Why are all the revealing posts on the Press blogs being removed?? Who stands to gain from the BOE situation? Who will get a city job?
Caccy July 29, 2011 at 02:14 AM
How can you run for mayor and sue the City? Terrible reporting Patch, and slanderous- quoting a source that refuses to be named probably because their allegation hold no water, its too bad middletown residents are too dumb to not know better
Darrell Lucas July 29, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Same reason you can sue a company and still work for them. Patch has much more respectable reporting then the Middletown Press. Even YOU Caccy are giving a statement without full disclosure. You dont have the bravery to give your full name or full profile. Something I have done even in the Middletown Press comments. Don't call out terrible reporting when you are just a anonymous shadow. BLA on you...
Barbara July 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM
I agree with Darrell. The Patch does a much better job at reporting the news than the Middletown Press. If it weren't for the Patch you wouldn't hear about the local news. I love the historial stories they post.
Arthur Fonzarelli August 02, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Are you out of your mind Working Families Party??? During Drew's 5 month (appointed) tenure as a Common Council, he has done nothing but the following: 1) Alienate Old People 2) Text 3) Kiss Tom Serra's behind 4) Support Hope Kasper in her attempt to get her relatives jobs. D. Thornton used to do that too, remember the Lombardo boys.. Yeah, that worked out well until the crashed the city truck. "No, they weren't on drugs but I won't release the blood test." 5) Appear on Cable TV without a live feed. Translation: He won't take phone calls so you can't call him up! Why would he do that? 6) Claims he was a journalist and fought corruption. Where? The school newspaper. Most reporters don't fight injustices they just right about it. 7) To Digress: Has the WFParty even nominated anybody but a Dem? Answer: They claim they have, but won't tell you who. 8) Make sweat heart deals with the Santangelos. 9) Promise Jobs- McKenna get the chief and Serra gets the Athletic Director's job at MHS 10) Lie about the locker rooms: They weren't included in the original plans douch0-bag. Two words; DeKarlo and Dahl.
Maria Cruz August 28, 2011 at 06:37 PM
In the mayoral electoral process before last, I was elated to see Ron Klattenburg running as the Democratic candidate. He is the only person on the common council I have complete trust and respect for. I was just as devastated when I learned he had dropped out and someone I had never heard of elected to replace him. I spoke to Ron at that time, who spoke highly of Dan Drew. I said to him then (and I have seen nothing since to change my mind) that Dan Drew was a baby with simply not enough political experience, let alone life experience to run the city of Middletown. I am a Democrat, and would love nothing more than to have a Democratic candidate I could support for mayor, but for the past two elections I have reluctantly had to vote for the Republican candidate as simply the best qualified to run the city, regardless of political affiliation. I am actually very glad that Christine Bourne is challenging Dan Drew and I will support her in the primary. I hope other democrats in Middletown who also feel they have not had a well-qualiffied candidate to support in the main election will go out and vote for Christine Bourne in the primary. At the very least, by doing so, it is a vote against the well entrenched democratic aristocracy in this very overly political city.

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