Letter: Choosing a New State’s Attorney
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the letter from Springfield Police Chief Douglas Johnston (“Windsor County Residents Ignored,” March 24). In it, he denounces Windsor County state representatives and state Sen. John Campbell for not representing his and other law officers’ preferences for the appointment of a replacement for Windsor County State’s Attorney Bobby Sand.
The process for filling a vacated elected state office is provided in the statutes governing political parties. The local political committee, in this case the Windsor County Democratic Committee, is asked to make suggestions to fill a vacant office. The committee acts in an advisory capacity only.
The governor makes the decision.
The meeting was warned and advertised. Although anyone can attend with or without an invitation, not all can participate. Only members of the committee can vote.
Windsor County legislators were divided in their support for Michael Kainen and David Cahill, both highly qualified. Each had substantial support, and there was much campaigning before the meeting on behalf of each by many groups, legislators and citizens in Windsor County.
But not at the meeting. Each candidate was nominated and made brief remarks.
Members asked questions after. There is no provision for campaigning at the meeting. Whatever advocacy our Windsor County representatives made on behalf of Windsor County constituents would not have happened at the committee meeting. It would have occurred before.
There were two candidates. The committee found both to be highly qualified. Therefore the committee decided to forward both names, without expressing a preference, to the governor for his consideration.
From his letter, it appears that Johnston did what he should do when advocating for a candidate. He wrote a letter to the governor, spoke to his legislators and signed a group petition. The governor chose the other man. That does not mean that the chief’s legislators did not respect his wishes. It simply means that the governor chose otherwise.
Chair, Windsor County Democratic Committee