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Article Published October 17, 2019
Galbraith Challenges Gister as Write-In for Chester First Selectman
Karena Garrity

Though his name will not appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 5 ballot, Robert Galbraith is making a run for Chester first selectman as a write-in candidate. As an official write-in candidate registered through the secretary of the state, Galbraith’s campaign follows similar regulations and financial reporting requirements of other, more traditional campaigns.

A long-time admirer of the small-town community feeling of Chester, Galbraith first came across what he calls “this unique” place while on a charity bicycle ride with friends.

“The first time I came to Chester I fell in love it with it. It is a very cool little town and if I am elected first selectman, I will work to maintain Chester’s unique, small-town feel,” Galbraith said. “I think there a lot of things that can be accomplished in town that will greatly benefit both the residents and businesses and I intend to help make those things happen and stand by what is right.”

Part of what he wants to accomplish is return some of what Chester was once known for.

“I often hear from town residents that they wish things in town were like they used to be. A perfect example of that is the Winter Carnivale,” he said, referring to the once-annual event that closed part of Main and water streets but was discontinued when the state declined to close Water Street, raising safety concerns for closing just Main Street. “That was a great event that everyone enjoyed and loved. If elected, I will work hard to bring that event back to downtown Chester.”

Galbraith, the founder of the annual Pattaconk 1850 Music Festival and Duck Race fundraiser in conjunction with the Chester Rotary, is best known locally for the eight years he ran the Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille. He said he’s deeply aware of the what it means to be a merchant in the center of Chester. He has participated with the Merchant Committee in the past and said that if elected he plans to work closely with the small businesses in the center of town to ensure that their needs and concerns are met.

He also plans to increase citizen participation in town government.

“I believe that the democratic process is extremely important and I will work hard to strengthen participation on all town boards and committees. I will also work to engage with all stakeholders in town to create a common vision for our special and unique village,” said Galbraith, who is originally from Enfield. “I’ve seen some great things happen in the town of Chester and I’ve also seen some missed opportunities. I look to strengthen the democratic process, get more town residents involved, and encourage everyone to come to town meetings and listen and hear what is going on in Chester.”

To accomplish his goals, Galbraith looks to use the town website, email, and Facebook page to the fullest advantage to keep the lines of communication between boards and commissions and residents open at all times.

“I plan to run the town the way I ran my business: everyone matters,” said Galbraith.

To overcome the challenges of running a write-in campaign that requires voters to bypass the names printed on the ballot and print a name that’s crystal clear to poll workers counting ballots, Galbraith has been getting his name out via road signs and through his Facebook page “Robert Galbraith for Chester Selectman because everyone matters.”

On Election Day, Nov. 5, he plans to spend a long day outside the polls at Town Hall.

“I will be there, shaking hands and reminding people how to spell my name so they can write me in,” he said.