An ex-con now holds an elected position in Brockton, Massachusetts, after he ran unopposed for his post on the Republican City Committee.
Attorney Larry Novak says he has the support of the party, but some in town wonder if he's the best the Republicans could do.
For years, Novak was known in the Brockton area as a longtime Republican campaign organizer and chair of the party's city committee, until 2009, when he was sent to federal prison for six years after he was convicted for money laundering.
Many Brockton political observers were surprised to hear that, after getting out of prison last year, Novak is back at the helm of the city's Republican Party.
"Well, they can put anyone who they want in there," said Brockton resident Melvin Lightford. "But if you have a criminal record past history, why would you want to be out in the public eye again?"
Some Brockton Republicans, like City Committee member Bill Hogan, see it differently.
"I've been friends with Larry for a number of years and I won't throw him under the bus," he said.
Hogan is a Main Street small businessman, one of the members of the Republican committee that voted unanimously for Novak.
"Larry made a mistake," Hogan said. "Obviously, he admitted to it. He did his time, he should be forgiven for that."
Hogan says most members of the committee are too busy or not interested in the chairmanship. He says Novak has already grown the ranks from less than 10 to more than 50. He says Novak is good at what he does.
"He knows the ins and outs of the state house, the conventions, how the party works, how the delegations work, I don't," he said.
Novak was unavailable for comment, but friends say he has moved on from his prison experience and is looking forward.