Romney Still Leads the Way for Wilton GOP

WILTON, Conn. – Even though the candidate field has narrowed significantly in this presidential primary race, Republicans in Wilton are seeing only one – former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“We typically have a defined front-runner by the time it gets to Connecticut,” said Al Alper, chair of the Wilton Republican Town Committee. He explained that this primary season has been unusually long. Alper said it was “created purposefully” by the party after the 2008 Democratic primary between now President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“They saw how it motivated the Democrats,” Alper said. Except at their core, Alper said, the Republican candidates in the race have few differences. However, “Romney was a standout for some time.”

But in Wilton, Alper said, the party has been diverse in support for the candidates. “I do believe that Mitt enjoys the lion’s share of the support,” Alper said. “But, I think they’ll vote for their candidate,” even if that candidate isn’t Romney.

Romney shows a strong lead among Wilton Republicans. According to, of the $102,273 in campaign donations from the 06897 ZIP code, Romney leads the pack with $48,500. That is almost $15,000 more than Obama, who has received $33,600 from Wilton residents.

And the ballot for Tuesday's primary shows four candidates – Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum – even though Santorum dropped out of the race April 10. Tina Gardner, the Republican registrar of voters for Wilton, said that because Santorum is still on the ballot, people can still vote for him, but the votes “won’t count for anything at this point.”

When it comes to counting, Gardner isn’t sure how many people will even turn out to the polls, especially when compared to the 2008 primary. But just in case, she ordered 25 percent ballot coverage for each polling station, which is just over 1,000 ballots.

“I don’t think the turnout will be as large as it could be,” Alper said. But, “I think people will come out.”

The polls are open Tuesday, April 24, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Don't know where your polling station is? Check the town registrar's website.

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