A feud over perceived loyalties to embattled state GOP boss Jr. is expected to cost Stamford’s top Republican her seat on the party’s ahead of a crucial leadership vote. A slate of delegates loyal to, the first Hispanic to preside over Stamford’s, lost last week to a rival slate organized by the local party’s treasurer,. The delegates will decide next month who should represent the city on the rule-making state Central Committee, which elects the state party chairman. , a former member and unsuccessful candidate for state Senate, is expected to replace Maldonado on the committee. Stamford has three seats on the committee that are currently filled by Maldonado, Wainwright and, a member of the city’s.
But there has been strife between Wainwright and the others since the November midterm election over Labriola’s removal, which Wainwright called for after Republicans failed to win a statewide or congressional race in a banner year for the GOP. “I do think there is a group of state central members who, if Jerry Labriola says `up,’ they say, `down,’ ” said Mahoney, a Maldonado ally. “This has been an incessant and persistent call for him to resign and constantly complaining about what he has accomplished and hasn’t. To quote, `We have some nattering nabobs of negativism. ‘ ” In a two-page email Friday to Stamford RTC members, Wainwright said Labriola and his apologists were plotting to bump him off the state Central Committee because of his calls for accountability over the “electoral catastrophe. ” Wainwright echoed those comments in an interview Monday. “I don’t want to imply that I’m out to get Eva,” Wainwright said. “I’m not. But I knew I was going down if I didn’t do something. I was there to defend my seat. ” Maldonado did not respond to a request for comment, but wrote in email Monday to RTC members that Wainwright had engineered her ouster. “You and your cohorts targeted me, Eva,” said Maldonado, who is expected to remain RTC chairwoman. , executive director of the, would not comment on the feud.
Labriola’s second term as chairman expires in June. He has not said whether he plans to seek re-election. Republicans, who make up the smallest voter bloc in Connecticut, are looking to return to political relevance. Wainwright has been one of Labriola’s most vocal critics. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the only one in (the) cross hairs,” Wainwright said in his email.
The tensions between Wainwright and Mahoney came to a head last Tuesday when Republican leaders in Stamford chose delegates for the purposes of nominating their state Central Committee members. Wainwright said in his email that Mahoney started yelling “in a fit of anger” when a challenge to Mahoney emerged from, a former Navy SEAL from Greenwich who ran unsuccessfully last year for Congress. Wainwright is backing Higbie over Mahoney.