Vasel Cleared to Run Third Party
ROCKY HILL - Town Councilor Henry Vasel has gotten the greenlight from state election officials to run his third party slate-titled “United Rocky Hill”-in November, and his roster consists of both old faces and new.

       Vasel officially announced the slate Thursday. Incumbent Councilors Frank Szeps and Catherine Vargas are on the ticket, along with Michele Collins, Cindy Tangney, and Larry Lindenberger.

       When Vasel sat down with The Rare Reminder Thursday, he noted his roster’s party diversity-what he characterized as part of his commitment to a candidacy and, if he wins, a term that transcends party politics.

       Tangney is a Democrat, and Lindenberger used to be-he moved recently to unaffiliated voter status.

       “We are pleased to offer the residents of Rocky Hill a coalition of Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated candidates who will work together for a better Rocky Hill, without the influence of national political parties,” Vasel wrote in a statement released Thursday. “As an independent party, we’re not going to look at issues from the right or left, but from the right or wrong.”

       Vasel told The Rare Reminder a few weeks ago-when he first hinted at running third party-that it was bipartisan bickering that prompted him to break from the Republican party and approach the election as an independent.

       But over the past couple of years, Vasel has found himself in the midst of the political fray, going toe to toe with his counterparts in the Democratic Majority over issues such as municipal budget appropriations and the replacement of Town Manager Guy Scaife.

       For all three parties, the Council’s lack of consensus on those issues has been a sore point-one they all hope to see alleviated no matter who takes the majority in November.

       Republican Mayoral Nominee Lisa Marotta and her fellow Council candidates are approaching the election with a similar message-illustrated by their newly announced “Team Rocky Hill” slogan.

       “We’re not a divided community,” Marotta said Thursday. “We may disagree on certain things, but we are a small, close knit town. The division you see is shown by the Town Council.”

       Marotta later added, “The Council seeming split is that it takes good management skills to show folks how they can move forward together to serve a greater common good. I’m committed to working collaboratively to reach collective goals through better management and leadership.”

       A written statement distributed by the Vasel pledged to not accept monetary campaign contributions-a challenge he issued to Marotta and Democratic incumbent Claudia Baio.

       “When you accept money, the donors often feel they should receive special access,” Vasel said in his statement. “And my only responsibility and duty is to the residents of Rocky Hill.”

       While Marotta that while she liked the spirit of Vasel’s approach, she admitted that it probably would not be feasible for her own campaign, noting that most local election candidates utilize the fundraising apparatus of their respective town committees.

       “I don’t think anyone likes to have to raise money, but at the same time, you need that in order to get your message out,” Marotta said. “I certainly don’t have the financing to self-fund, and I wouldn’t put that burden on anyone I run with.”

       Vasel is a business owner and Rocky Hill volunteer firefighter.