It remains to be seen whether there will be a primary to decide the Republican first selectman and selectman candidates whose names will be on the GOP line for the November election.
But for now, are enjoying their victories at the Republican caucus Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning at the Stephen B. Church Memorial Town Hall.
"This is a very proud moment for me and everyone else associated with the campaign," said Temple, a first selectman candidate who is running with Haney as the selectman candidate. "I'm very proud to be a Republican. I think that we have a lot of work to do when we take on the Democratic opponent (Joseph Calabrese); he is not an easy opponent. But we know that and we are prepared."
Temple, a 65-year-old attorney with an office in Shelton, was perceived as the underdog at the caucus because the Republican Town Committee endorsed his opponent,, and his running mate, Board of Finance Chairwoman Lila Ferrillo, for the top two spots on the ticket.
However, Temple won at the caucus by 15 votes, 111-96, after predicting victory the day before. Haney, a 54-year-old self-employed construction worker who owns two karate schools, cruised to victory over Ferrillo, 121-83.
Temple was nominated from the floor Tuesday night by former first selectman Paul Schreiber, who credited Temple with helping to build Oxford's tax base through economic development initiatives while he was town counsel during Schreiber's tenure as first selectman.
Schreiber called economic development the "foremost thing we can do in Oxford to keep our tax base down."
"George did that, he worked hard at that," Schreiber said. "I know what a very talented, able and experienced man that George Temple is."
Board of Education candidate Gerard Carbonaro nominated Haney, calling him a man who hasn't always been a Republican but has lived his life with Republican values as a small business owner who is dedicated to his hometown and his family. Carbonaro also said Haney has donated his time and energy toward making Oxford a better place to live.
"When Oxford needed a gazebo, Jeff Haney built it," Carbonaro said. "When the senior center needed decking, Jeff Haney built it. When disassembled bleachers were delivered to Oxford High School, Jeff Haney built them. And he did this all for no charge. ...He is a humble man. You will never hear him talk about what he does for others, but he never stops."
Carbonaro also talked about how politics in Oxford has become rancorous, personal and hyper-partisan.
"Part of the answer to this issue in the town of Oxford, part of George Temple’s answer to the problem in this town is Jeff Haney," Carbonaro said.
Carbonaro also amused a standing room only crowd of more than 200 people who were hot and losing patience, saying he would trust Haney with his children, his money...and both of his ex-wives.
Will there be a primary?
Yish said he was disappointed by the results but proud of the effort of his supporters. He also said he believes he might have had a better chance given a little more time in the campaign; he just entered last week, while Temple announced months ago.
Still, Yish may have more time to garner votes: he could force a primary.
"It’s not totally out of the question," he said, adding that he will discuss it with Ferrillo today and could make a decision later in the day but definitely by tomorrow.
Republican Town Committee Chairman William Neary said he would expect there will be a primary, telling the Valley Independent Sentinel that there are a lot of Republicans who didn't attend the caucus.
Although Haney is a newcomer to politics, he said he is fine with a primary.
"I know that Dave (Yish) is a great guy and if he wanted to run, I would expect he would," he said.