Democrats Take Back Council Majority
Mixed emotions filled the Back Nine Tavern Tuesday night as Republican Mayor Erin Stewart won her third term as Mayor of the City over Democrat Merrill Gay, but many other Republicans lost seats.
“Can’t stop! Won’t stop!,” said Stewart as she took the microphone for her victory speech after winning 5,395 to 4,306. “Thank you New Britain. This is an awesome night. We stand here tonight united. We stand here tonight victorious. We stand here tonight ready to fight for the next two years.”
She said the work started the last four years will continue.
“This was not easy and we knew it was going to be tough. We knew having a super majority would only last for so long. We knew two years ago it would be difficult to keep what we had,” said Stewart. “We campaigned with everything that we had.”
She said it was not the end for many candidates. They all would have a significant place in the administration.
“We will continue in a bi-partisan manner. We will continue to lead the way,” said Stewart.
“In 2013 when I won I said we were going to make change. We made change and the City of New Britain recognizes that we made change.”
Half of the candidates running on the Republican slate were not Republicans. Many were Democrats and others were Unaffiliated.
Stewart won her first election four years ago over incumbent Democrat Tim O’Brien. Two years ago she beat out Democrat John McNamara in a landslide.
Stewart ran that she took the City from a $30 million deficit to a $15 million surplus and boosted the City credit rating by four notches, growing the Grand List, adding more than 45 new businesses, and creating hundreds of new jobs.
Gay emphasized that he has been a statewide leader on education and early childhood issues for over a decade. He fought that Stewart was increasing the tax burden on residents and had ballooning debt payments.
Several in attendance at the Back Nine Tavern Tuesday night said that the Democratic party focused on Pres. Donald Trump and tried to use his dislike by residents against Mayor Stewart’s team.
For the next two years Alderman at Large will consist primarily of Democrats with Eva Magnaszewski the highest vote getter with 4,675 votes followed by Emmanuel Sanchez with 4,502, Richard Reyes 4,357 and Katie Breslin 4,231. Democrat Daniel Salerno who is endorsed by the Republican party took the fifth spot with 4,255 votes.
“I’m pleased that I have the opportunity to be part of what Mayor Stewart has promoted and successfully accomplished over the last 4 years,” said Salerno. “I want to be a greater part of it because she has us on the right track.”
Ward 1 saw Republicans Jamie Giantonio (1,233 votes) and Willie Pabon (1,310 votes) retain their seats against Veronica DeLandro (1,071 votes) and Molly McGuire (1,146 votes)
“I’m glad the Mayor won. People of New Britain have spoken that she is the right person to lead this City,” said Giantoni. “We have a council of 6 of us who will continue to work and make stuff happen.”
In Ward 2 Republican Kristian Rosado (603 votes) and Democrat Brian Keith Albert (604 votes) won over Democrat Lamar Bowsky (583 votes) and Republican endorsed Democrat Jerrell Hargraves (550 votes).
“I am so grateful to citizens of Ward 2 for entrusting me for another two years. I want to congratulate Mayor Stewart and those on the other side who were victorious tonight,” said Rosado. “I look forward to getting back to work.”
Ward 3 saw two Democrats win in Iris Sanchez (766 votes) and Aram Ayalon (660 votes) over Republican candidates Joel Moret (347 votes) and Jason Gibson (413 votes).
Ward 4 had both Republican endorsed candidates win in Robert Smedley (797 votes) and Don Naples (847 votes). The two beat out Ann Speyer (705 votes) and Robert Berriault (693 votes).
“We have always worked bi-partisan,” said Naples. “Now, we will just be doing it with different people. It’s not that much different. It may be harder to get things passed, but it shouldn’t be because everyone wants what is best for the City. I’m not too concerned.”
In Ward 5 Democrats led by Carlo Carlozzi (1,166 votes) and Francisco Santiago (1,109 votes) beat out Republicans Carmelo Rodriguez (933 votes) and Miriam Geraci (887 votes).
Board of Education members are Democrats Daisy Sanchez (4,427), Annie Parker (4,294) and Violette Sims (4,132). Republicans will include Nancy Rodriguez (3,855) and Nicolas Mercier (3,764). Mallory DePrey received 3,582 votes.
This was another win for Democrats as not only did they take 3 of the 5 seats, but Sims was elected. Earlier this year Sims and Deprey battled over a vacant board of education seat. The Republican majority voted in Deprey despite Democrats choosing Sims to fill the vacancy.
Republican Cheryl Blogoslawski was re-elected as Tax Collector and Democrat Ron Jakubowski is now treasurer. Republican Mark Bernacki ran unchallenged and will remain town clerk.