BERLIN – Although the Democrats were guaranteed a certain number of seats in each race, the Republicans won the day, outdistancing the other party in every race.
Republican Mayor Mark Kraczynski easily won over Democratic challenger Richard Paskiewicz, 2,573 to 2,256, according to unofficial numbers.
Paskiewicz received the lowest number of votes of the Democrats running for council, making him ineligible to “bump” another candidate to take a council seat. Republican incumbent Charles Paonessa did not retain his seat with 2,680 votes. But every other Republican won big, said Republican Town Committee Chair Anne Reilly.
“All the Republicans that ran for council beat all three (Democratic) candidates,” Reilly said. “That’s a pretty resounding mandate.”
The recent charter revision guaranteed that the council would be made up of three Democrats and three Republicans with the party affiliation of the mayor becoming the wild card in the election. According to the new town council election rules, the candidates for mayor run separately from the council but can bump a member of their party off the council to take their seat if they lose and have more votes than the candidate they bumped.
Republican incumbent Brenden Luddy garnered 2,821 votes, the most of any council member. Republican newcomers Alex Giannone and Amy Maier Daniele received 2,734 and 2,742 votes respectively. Luddy, Giannone and Maier Daniele won council seats. Petitioning Republican candidate Craig Lentini took 1,277 votes.
The three Democratic candidates were automatically guaranteed council seats unless Paskiewicz opted to “bump” one of them. Since he didn’t surpass their number of votes, Peter Rosso with 2,542 votes, JoAnn Angelico-Stetson with 2,274 votes and Karen Pagliaro with 2,466 votes all took council seats.
Earlier in the day Paonessa said he felt confident about the race. “I feel pretty good,” Paonessa said as he campaigned outside the American Legion polling place Tuesday night. “I think we’ve made a lot of good progress in the past two years.”
Republican David Evans, and Democrats Rachel Rochette and Kristin Campanelli had earlier decided not to run for re-election on the council, saying they were taking a break from politics and focusing on other priorities.
In other local races, Democratic candidate Joe Annuziata and Republican Paul Eshoo were elected to the Police Commission with 2,387 votes and 2,558 votes, respectively. Democratic challenger Tony Legnani garnered 2,273 votes. The Police Commission race did not include absentee ballots as of press time. All candidates in both parties for the newly created Board of Finance ran unopposed as did the four Board of Education candidates.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.