Below are some of the remarks Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh made today when he switched his party affiliation from Republican to Independent.

WHY THE INDEPENDENT PARTY

I believe we are in a process of a political “evolution”. I have spent the better part of three months participating in a two-party process that is intended to vet contenders in the various political races. The process requires consideration of party philosophy over practical solutions in order to attract delegate support. Middle ground is off limits in the current system. Party rhetoric, however, will not solve the problems of our state or our nation. When one considers that unaffiliated voters, the largest block of the Connecticut electorate, are excluded from the candidate selection process, it becomes clear that it is almost impossible to produce candidates who represent the views of 60% of the electorate, just because they do not share a partisan political philosophy.

In my gut I believe the moment is at hand for a new direction in politics and I believe that the Independent Party is well positioned to offer an alternative. Over the last month I have come to understand and appreciate the values of the Independent Party; their commitment to good government through good people, and strong ideas; their drive to demand honesty and integrity from elected officials, and their commitment to protecting the democratic process.

We are at a defining moment, a moment that presents a rare opportunity. We must, as a state, provide an honest assessment of ourselves, who we are, what is important to us and how we intend to govern ourselves. My candidacy is fueled by the values and concerns of everyday people like you and I. I don’t have paid staff consultants writing my positions and telling me what to think, or pollsters providing the rudder to my message. In many ways consultants and experts got us into this mess. I have sought, and continue to seek, guidance from individuals with hands-on experience and a desire to improve our system.

The Independent Party will offer the residents of Connecticut an opportunity to get involved in their governance in an entirely new way; to give our citizens a less partisan and more balanced voice at the Capital; to make a real difference in designing a fresh approach to government. I encourage you to join in our effort, and I enthusiastically ask for your support.