29 October 2007

Colchester Candidates Debate

I'm here at Bacon Academy watching the debate between candidates for Colchester First Selectman Diana Norton Giles, the Republican, and Linda Riley Hodge, the Democrat.

Giles is much smoother and softer spoken. The Norton stock is strong in Colchester, as Diana's parents were both active in local politics for years, as was her brother Andrew Norton, a former state representative from Colchester.

On the issues, the two actually agree on quite a bit. The Democrat Hodge is recasting herself as a fiscal stalwart, as the town took four tries to pass a budget this year. She proclaims her qualities in a machine gun staccato that is quite abrasive.

The two agree on the need for a Big Box store, a senior center, regionalization, and the need for property tax reform.

Hodge keeps shouting that the town needs leadership. This seems to be quite a theme - demanding new, strong leadership.

An interesting question from the intrepid moderator Ray Hackett on the Cheshire slayings - Diana Giles says that we need more police, but warns that even double the number of police probably wouldn't have prevented the Cheshire killers. Hodge thinks that a neighborhood watch program would be good.

Diana Giles: Favorite quality of the opponent - she is a Red Sox fan.
Linda Hodge: Giles is a committed public servant.

Linda Hodge is screaming her closing statement at us. She is ready to lead.

Diana coolly rolls off her priorities and makes her case for leadership. She throws out a shout to the underticket. "Together we can work together".