Gregory Moran defeats Edward Gauthier in Republican first selectman primary
Preston — Gregory S. Moran Sr. easily defeated endorsed candidate Edward Gauthier, 99-47, in Tuesday's Republican first selectman candidate primary.
Moran will face Democratic endorsed candidate Sandra Allyn-Gauthier in the November election. Allyn-Gauthier is not related to Edward Gauthier.
"There's a lot of work ahead," Moran said after the results were read at the Preston Plains Middle School polling place. "A lot of work ahead for November."
Moran said he made a lot of phone calls and a lot of driving throughout town in the primary campaign.
Gauthier said he was disappointed in the results, but immediately threw his support to Moran for the November election.
"Congratulations to Greg," Gauthier said. "Everybody who voted for me, please vote for Greg in November."
Current First Selectman Robert Congdon, who will retire after 24 years in the position in November, had one bit of advice for both candidates in the primary: "You've got to work hard."
The two candidates spent much of the day greeting voters outside the polling place, cordially chatting in the lulls during the long day of voting. Each had signs posted outside the legal limit of 75 feet from the polling place entrance.
"Let's be heard. Vote for Greg Moran, he will speak for you," one of Moran's hand-written signs said.
"Ed Gauthier 1st Selectman. Protect Preston's Future," Gauthier's red, white and blue printed sign said.
Gauthier, 47, a member of the Board of Education, was narrowly endorsed by the party in the July caucus, and Moran, 52, who serves on the town Board of Assessment Appeals and the Zoning Board of Appeals, filed a petition to force a primary.
Republican Town Committee Chairman Norman Gauthier — Edward Gauthier's father — filed a complaint with the state Elections Enforcement Commission in August challenging the validity of Moran's petition, saying Moran signed and certified petition forms prior to collecting signatures. The state commission has yet to review the complaint, and a spokesman for the agency said the commission has no authority to overturn election results or disqualify candidates. It can impose fines for violations.
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