Republican sources said if nothing happens to change her mind, Rell will anoint Fedele at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Republican House caucus room where he served for four years as assistant Republican leader under Minority Leader Robert Ward, R-North Branford.
"He had a way of understanding issues, bringing common sense to the issues," said Ward, who chose Fedele to serve as assistant leader, a post one notch below the two deputy leaders.
"When we talked about things in the caucus, he was someone who could unite other people. He was one of those quiet leaders. He didn't need to hear himself speak on the floor of the House," Ward said.
Ward said he had only heard rumors that Fedele would be Rell's choice, "but if it's true, I think he would be a great choice. He's the classic American success story. He came here as a small boy with his family and started up his own, very successful business."
Fedele was born in Italy and traveled as a child with his family from their homeland on a seven-day boat trip in 1958, moving to West Main Street. (Coleman)
That sounds a lot like Rell herself when she was in the House. So far, so good. The only thing that raises a red flag is this push poll done in 2002, when he was running against Andrew McDonald for Jepsen's Senate seat:
According to several people contacted, the poll conducted by Zogby International asked voters, among other questions, whether they preferred to vote for a married candidate with children or one who is gay. Fedele is married with three children. McDonald is gay.
Democrats expressed outrage and called on Republicans to apologize. Stamford Republicans and those representing the state party and then Gov. John Rowland said they had nothing to do with the poll. Fedele also said he had nothing to do with it, would not have sanctioned it and didn't think the issue was one of concern to voters. (Coleman)
It's impossible to know, at this point, how much Fedele was involved in this wretched bit of negative campaigning. I'd like to know more.
The Malloy campaign reacted to the selection of Fedele as another indication of their candidate's strength, while the DeStefano campaign labelled Fedele a "Fairfield County millionaire." It does seem like Malloy is being targeted, here--will that help or hurt him in the convention?
Fedele's still not a particularly compelling choice, but he is a safe one. That may help Rell most of all.
Coleman, Tobin A. "Republicans: Fedele would help Rell." Stamford Advocate 17 May, 2006.