O’Brien Beats Three Opponents to Become New Britain’s New Mayor
You could not find a more joyful place in the City Tuesday night than the Whinstone Tavern as Democrat Tim O’Brien had won the 2011 Election for Mayor. Continual chants of “O-Bri-en” shook the building.
O’Brien won the election with 4,282 votes compared to 3,221 for Republican Mark Bernacki, 938 for Independent Lucian Pawlak and 74 for Independent Alfred Mayo.
“This is a victory for all of New Britain,” exclaimed O’Brien to the joyous crowd. “There are so many people who did so much. This is about all of you.”
O’Brien thanked a number of individuals throughout the evening including the Working Family Party and various state representatives.
“This is a victory for building a better future for our city. To ensure that every child has a decent education,” said O’Brien. “There are important things we are going to build together. This is not the end, this is the beginning.”
O’Brien said the victory was about the average person.
“New Britain is about standing up for average every day people. We had a great victory today because we did that. I want you to know that that is something that will never be forgotten,” O’Brien said. “We are a team that will go in there and change the city for the better…we are a team that will make New Britain a more livable place where children can have better opportunities, where people can get better jobs, where neighborhoods are stronger and where we are working together collaboratively.”
During his speech he accepted a congratulations phone call from Congressman Richard Blumenthal, but it was an appearance by Gov. Dannel Malloy that kept the excitement rolling.
“No victory is more important than this guy. The hardest working politician in Hartford,” said Malloy. “This is a tribute to the people who want to take their City back….This is a victory for the people of New Britain…New Britain has given us many great gifts and Tim is one of them.”
“He is an individual who got knocked down two years ago and got right back up,” said John McNamara, Democratic Town Chairman. “He ran again and he succeeded this time. We need that kind of leader in New Britain.”
O’Brien, who was a state representative, ran for Mayor two years ago losing to Republican Timothy Stewart. Stewart chose not to re-run this year after 8 years as mayor.
Lucian Pawlak thanked his supporters following the election.
“Thank you all for the support you gave me during the last few months,” said Pawlak. “My comeback didn’t turn out the way I hoped but I have no regrets. Congratulations to Tim O’Brien. Thanks also to Mark Bernacki and Al Mayo.”
Mayor Pro-Tempore Michael Trueworthy said he thought is was a great victory.
“I’m very excited,” said Trueworthy. “Kudos goes to Tim and all his hard work. People came out and we had good results.”
Trueworthy was one of 13 Democrats to be named to the Council Tuesday evening. All Democratic aldermen at large won.
Results for Aldermen at large were led by David DeFronzo with 4,815 votes, Suzanne Bielinski with 4,232, Eva Magnaszewski with 3,937, Rha-Sheen Brown with 3,415 and Trueworthy with 3,730.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with Tim O’Brien and that he won,” said Magnaszewski. “The City of New Britain will be much better for it.”
“With Tim as Mayor there will be an overall change in the way people do business and the way people get along with each other,” said DeFronzo. “That will be a good thing for the City.”
Republicans Sally Eigenraam had 2,556, Henry Zembko 2,736, James Griffin 2,445, Lou Salvio 2,987 and Mary Marocco with 2,927.
“Overall, I don’t think the outcome was too unpredictable,” said Zembko who is the zoning board of appeals commissioner. “I’m thrilled that Willie and Jamie got on. I hope its enough to balance the council. O’Brien is not my first choice, but I respect him as the mayor in that office. Hopefully we can work together. My concern is with their extreme anti-business stance. As a city we need to listen to each other.”
Ward One was the lone bright spot for Republicans in the Council.
Both Republicans Willie Pabon and Jamie Giantonnio took home victories with 1,093 and 1,150 respectively.
Democrats Duane Hinkson had 811 votes and Stephen Sidorak had 938.
“I am honored and excited that the voters in Ward 1 chose me to represent them,” said Giantonnio. “I look forward to working with the new leadership to continue to move New Britain in the right direction. I also thank Mark Bernacki and the entire Bernacki for Mayor Team for all their hard work.”
In Ward Two it was a victory for Democrats Tonilynn Collins with 738 votes and Adam Platosz with 691 votes. Republican Rich Gadomski had 416 votes and Mario Santos had 403 votes.
Ward Three had Shirley Black with 604 votes and Emmanuel Sanchez with 583 votes. Republican candidates Adrian Baron had 217 votes and Alex Schwarz had 198 votes.
“Tim O’Brien is the change we need in New Britain,” said Sanchez. “I hope with Tim in office that we will achieve everything New Britain needs to become the best City it can become.”
Ward Four will see a recount. Democrat Larry Hermanowski had 815 votes and Tobias Freeman had 670 votes. But Republican Don Naples had 653 votes which is close enough to recount. Republican Daniel Davis had 627 votes. A recount will be done Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office in City Hall.
“I want to congratulate Tim,” said Hermanowski. “This is the best thing the City of New Britain has had. We have a Democratic mayor and I’m sure we will have peace and a great council.”
Ward five saw Democrats Roy Centeno with 936 votes and Carlo Carlozzi Jr. with 954 votes win compared to Republicans Carmelo Rodriguez with 613 votes and Peter Scirpo with 590 votes.
Cheryl Blogoslawski retained her seat as tax collector for now, beating Todd Szabo by a vote of 3,745 to 3,736. It will be part of Saturday’s recount.
City Treasurer Teresa Saphieha-Yanchak won again with 4,301 to 2,806 from Richard Lorch.
The Board of Education saw three Democrats and two Republicans named.
Winners were Democrats Carlos Pina Jr. with 3,766, Nicole Sanders with 3,559 and Aram Ayalon with 3,180. Winning Republicans were Erin Stewart with 3,432 and Jim Sanders Sr. with 3,035. Nicholas Mercier lost with 2,898 votes.
“I am excited about winning my first election and extremely grateful that the voters of New Britain put their trust in me as the youngest member of the BOE,” said Stewart. “I am ready and eager to get to work to help improve our school district. Thank you, New Britain, I will not let you down.”
In the Board of Assessment Appeals Democrats Robert Wysocki won with 4,171 votes, Peter Kochol won with 3,692 votes and Republican Mary Lou Sanders won with 3,011. Republican Peter Schenck finished with 2,444 votes.
All 8 running constables were elected. The final votes were Peter Spano 4,065, James Rathbun 3,497, Rose Samuel-Hodge 3,366, Plummer Carroll 3,300, Jim Sanders Jr. 2,929, Justin Dorsey 2,867, Tom Talalaj 2,753 and Sean Steele 2,495.
About 20 percent of voters turned out for the election.