A replacement candidate enters the race as election nears

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Fri., Sep. 30, 2011
Rich Shuck, pictured left, is seated next to Stafford Republican Town Committee Chair Doug Minich during the Sept. 27 RTC meeting. With only a few weeks left until the election, Shuck was selected by the RTC to run as a candidate for Stafford's first selectman, replacing Bosco Fowler, who resigned his candidacy during the previous week. Photos by Lauri Voter.
Rich Shuck, pictured left, is seated next to Stafford Republican Town Committee Chair Doug Minich during the Sept. 27 RTC meeting. With only a few weeks left until the election, Shuck was selected by the RTC to run as a candidate for Stafford's first selectman, replacing Bosco Fowler, who resigned his candidacy during the previous week. Photos by Lauri Voter.

A recent, unexpected change in election plans mobilized the Stafford Republican Town Committee to hold a special meeting Sept. 27 to select a new candidate to run for the office of first selectman in November's election. “You all know why we're here,” said RTC Chairman Doug Minich. “Bosco [Fowler] withdrew his candidacy for selectman, and that's the purpose of this meeting.”

During the RTC meeting, two candidates stepped forth as hopefuls to win the bid for first selectman – Stafford Zoning Enforcement Officer Richard Shuck, and Eric Molitoris, who was already nominated by the Open Party as a replacement candidate for first selectman after Fowler's withdrawal from the race, as Fowler had been cross-endorsed by the Open Party. Both candidates discussed their backgrounds and expressed their interest in candidacy.

“Eric Molitoris is a candidate. He is with the Open Party. He filed his papers on Monday,” said Minich, who noted that, “Eric is a registered Republican, although he is a member of the Open Party.”

“If I get in, it won't be government by the politician anymore,” said Molitoris, who also said he would give up his regular job as a paramedic to serve as a full-time first selectman.

Shuck said he would like to see the implementation of a town charter. "From being on the inside, working as a town employee, I can tell you, it's not what it seems on the outside. I think efficiency in our government is going to be key,” he said.

In addition to some discussion about fundraising and campaigning in light of the short span of time remaining to campaign before the Nov. 8 election, the RTC selected Shuck as their candidate.

During the meeting, Molitoris said that he planned to withdraw his candidacy from the Open Party and support Shuck.

Because Stafford's current first selectman, Michael Krol, opted out of running for another term, this year's non-incumbent electoral race will see Republican first selectman candidate Shuck and selectman candidate Deidriene Guglielmo Knowlton, running as “Team Stafford,” opposite Democratic nominees David F. Walsh for first selectman and Neil Hoss for selectman.

As a cross-endorsed candidate, Knowlton's name will also appear in the “Open Party” category.

Send comments and story ideas to Lauri Voter at lvoter@remindernet.com.


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