Write-in Town Council candidate gets Republican endorsement in Glocester

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GLOCESTER – A sixth Republican announced that he is seeking election to a seat on the Glocester Town Council this week, with a late campaign that received endorsement from the Republican Town Committee.

Former Town Councilor George “Buster” Steere launched a write-in campaign, noting he is hoping to return to the board after a one term break.

Steere, the president of excavating company Steere Farm Inc., served on the board from 2008 to 2020, including two terms as president and two as vice president.

The write-in candidate came in first when he last ran in 2018, but did not seek reelection in 2020.

“I had a lot of reasons,” Steere told NRI NOW of his decision at the time not to seek another term. “I was up to my neck in work and other issues, so I needed some time off.”

Plus, he said, at the time there were plenty of good candidates running for office.

“I was pretty confident the town was going to be in good hands,” Steere said.

Last week, in an advertisement announcing Glocester Republican Family Day, an annual event that took place over the weekend, the Glocester Republican Town Committee listed Steere as an “endorsed” write-in candidate, also listing some other party members set to appear on the November ballot: incumbent Councilors Steven Arnold and William Worthy, and hopefuls Cheryl Greathouse and Jonathan Burlingame.

Absent was one Glocester Republican who currently serves on the board and did follow the traditional process for seeking reelection: William Steere.

Worthy, who has served as chairman of the GRTC for roughly the past year, said the inclusion was based on write-in candidate Steere’s ongoing involvement in the town party – and the incumbent Steere’s lack thereof.

“He is part of the Republican Town Committee and has been a member for the past 13 years,” Worthy said of George Steere, adding of Walter Steere, “He hasn’t been a part of the GRTC in a number of years.”

Traditionally, such endorsements are announced prior to a primary election, and result in an asterisk acknowledging the party support on the early ballot. Glocester, however, did not hold a primary for the five-member board in 2022, since only five Republican candidates for the Town Council had filed paperwork at the time.

If George Steere had filed declaration papers with the other five Republican council hopefuls back in June, it would have triggered a primary to narrow the field of candidates running from the party prior to the General Election to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Two independents, meanwhile, will look to defend their seats in what is now an eight-candidate race. Incumbents David LaPlante and William Reichert are also seeking reelection to the board. No Democrats are running for the Glocester Town Council on the 2022 ballot.

“I know that he definitely decided late,” Worthy said of the write-in Steere’s recent announcement. “He’s very involved with the town. He’s a really great guy and he knows a lot about the town.”

George Steere – better known as Buster – told NRI NOW he delayed the decision to run because he was hopeful others he supports would come forward. And ongoing frustration with the current board is what made him decide to launch the write-in campaign.

“I get more and more frustrated as I attend council meetings,” Steere said, noting that months into the fiscal year, the town has yet to pass a budget. Residents rejected the budget put forth in August, a result Steere blamed on councilors for not selling their fiscal plan to residents.

“There are a lot of reasons why it didn’t pass, I think,” Steere said, noting that when he was serving on the council and there was a budget increase, he used the town’s Code Red system to explain the taxes and rally for support.

“This council did nothing for that,” he said, noting that some on the board are relatively new to town government. “I have to blame the seasoned veterans.”

Steere noted that councilors also allowed a PILOT agreement with the town’s largest taxpayer – FM Global – to expire without negotiating a new deal.

“My frustration has led me to this,” he said.

Editor’s note: The above story has been updated to include input from the write-in candidate.

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