Three seek Republication nominations for New London City Council

New London - A three-term former city councilor is seeking a Republican nomination for one of seven seats on the City Council but says he may have a hard time getting an endorsement.

Martin T. Olsen, who served on the council from 1987 to 1991 and 2009 to 2011, was ceremonial mayor from 2010 to 2011 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2011. He said the party probably won't endorse him because some members are upset that he aligned himself with Democrats to get the one-year ceremonial mayor position, and he ran for mayor as a petitioning candidate.

The Republican Town Committee caucus is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Senior Center.

Olsen said he would run in a primary or become a petitioning candidate if he were not nominated.

GOP committee member George Sprecace has urged the membership not to nominate Olsen because, in part, "He did not comply with the formal positions of his party." He called Olsen's behavior a "grievous breach of political party discipline and etiquette."

Also seeking the GOP nomination is Keith Robbins, former first selectman of Bozrah.

John Russell, who served on the council with Olsen in 2010 and 2011, also wants to get back on the City Council. Russell said the GOP does not want him on the ticket because he, too, did not always follow the Republican leadership. He was cross-endorsed by the Republicans and the Green Party in 2010. He is seeking signatures to get on the ballot as a petitioning candidate.

The Republican slate will be announced Tuesday following the caucus.

- Kathleen Edgecomb


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