Following the resignation of former Selectman Gavin Anderson, the Westport Republican Town Committee has formed a nominating committee to choose a successor. Anderson announced his resignation on Nov. 9 due to health reasons.

The nominating committee will pick at least one registered Republican to recommend to the full RTC. The full RTC will then vote on the endorsed candidates and recommend one of them to First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Selectwoman Shelly Kassen, the remaining members of the Board of Selectmen.

"We don't see this as a political appointment," said RTC Chairman Bob Zappi. "We're being very thorough."

Five members comprise the nominating committee. Michael McGovern, who also serves on the Board of Education, will chair the committee. The other members are: former state Rep. Jo Fuchs Luscombe; former Selectman Bob Lasprogato; Brandi Briggs; and Tom Lasersohn.

Zappi said the nominating committeewould likely recommend a candidate to the full RTC by the second week of December. He added that the nominating committee is considering about 10 applicants.

Joseloff told the Westport News that strong candidates would have a "solid track record in town government and in serving the town. This would include, but not be limited to, election or appointment to a town board, committee, or commission as well as other service to the community."

The town's charter, Joseloff said, mandated that Anderson's successor also must be Republican. Although there are more registered unaffiliated voters than registered Republicans in Westport, Joseloff said any interested independents would need to join the Republican Party to be eligible to succeed Anderson.

Joseloff added that Anderson's successor will be decided by Dec. 24, meeting the 45-day deadline from Anderson's resignation, as outlined by the town charter.

"I expect the Republican Town Committee, as its chair has stated, will forward a recommendation (or recommendations) to us," he added. "But that certainly does not preclude anyone from contacting us directly to express an interest."

Contact info for Joseloff and Kassen can be found on the town's website, www.westportct.gov.