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Three Republicans want to be candidate in 47th District covering northern Norwich, Sprague, Lisbon, other towns

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published April 28. 2014 4:00AM

Three Republican candidates will compete next month for their party's endorsement to run for state representative from the 47th District but they do not expect the matter to be settled until an Aug. 12 primary.

Noah Enslow and Michael Meadows, both of Sprague, and Doug Dubitsky of Chaplin plan to seek the nomination at the May 14 district Republican convention at 6:30 p.m. at the Shetucket Grange in Scotland.

The winning candidate would challenge first-term Democrat Brian Sear of Canterbury for the district that covers the northern section of Norwich and the towns of Sprague, Scotland, Lebanon, Franklin, Lisbon, Chaplin, Hampton and Canterbury.

All three Republican candidates said they have been working hard in the early months of the campaign and are confident they can win their party's nomination. But they also expect that one or more opponent will seek a primary.

All three also expect to qualify soon for state campaign grants through the Connecticut Citizens' Election Program. In that program, state House candidates must raise an initial $5,000 from small donors to qualify for $11,140 for the primary and $27,850 for the general election.

Enslow ran against Sear in 2012 when the seat was open after former incumbent Republican Christopher Coutu decided to run for state Senate.

Enslow, a dock master technician first class at Electric Boat in Groton, said in this area, it takes two tries for a Republican legislative candidate to win election, and he is ready for that victory this year. Enslow serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission in Sprague.

According to campaign finance reports filed earlier this month, Enslow had raised $3,495 for the period running through March 31.Enslow said Friday he is about $700 short of the $5,000 needed to qualify for the state grant.

Meadows said he believes he is the leading candidate for the nomination, with key endorsements from Coutu and from Norwich Republican Alderman William Nash, Sprague Selectwoman Cheryl Blanchard and the Sprague Republican Town Committee. Coutu is serving as his campaign manager.

Meadows served as an assistant clerk for the Senate Republicans on the legislative Education Committee. He has been a volunteer firefighter for the Baltic Volunteer Fire Department for five years and coaches youth baseball and soccer.

Meadows raised $2,870 during the first quarter of this year.

Dubitsky, an attorney and farmer, did not file a campaign finance report for the first quarter, but said he has started fundraising and expects to qualify for the public grant funds. Dubitsky said he feels he has the edge for the nomination because he has lined up "three times" the number of town committee endorsements from the district towns as his opponents.

"We've all been working very hard on our issues," Dubitsky said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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