Election night for Cheshire ended with a reaffirmation that the current crop of mostly Republican incumbents are moving the community in the right direction.
According to unofficial numbers available before press time, all GOP incumbents on the Town Council, Board of Education, and Planning and Zoning Commission retained their seats. The GOP will retain a 7-2 majority on the Council, and 5-2 majority in the BOE.
“This is going to be a really exciting night, regardless of what happens,” mentioned Councilor Sylvia Nichols, before the results came in. “I am very excited to find out.”
The evening started off with a strong win from First District Republican Councilman David Veleber, who will be returning to his seat on the Council. Unofficial numbers showed Veleber with a 1022 to 820 advantage over his challenger, Democrat Cathy Doheny.
Joining Veleber in a return to the Council will be fellow Republican incumbent Don Walsh, who defeated Democratic challenger Karen Schnitzer by a margin of 1,093 to 692 in the Third District. All At-Large Republican incumbents—David Borowy, Tim Slocum, Sylvia Nichols, Sandra Pavano—also won re-election, with Slocum appearing to garner that most votes at 4,105.
John Milone (3,865 votes),co-founder of Milone and MacBroom consulting firm, is the only newcomer to be elected to the Council.
While Democrats failed to add any new members to the Council, they did retain their two current seats, as Second District Councilor Jim Jinks won a second term and Fourth District Councilor Peter Talbot remains in the seat he has occupied for more than a decade.
Jinks held off first-time Republican candidate Nicole Davison by a margin of 1,057 to 929.
“I was really happy to be a part of this,” said Davison. “Jim Jinks is a great guy, so I am happy with everything ultimately.
“I feel really good about tonight,” Talbot said, who defeated first-time Republican candidate Lauren Miele by a total of 1,149 to 930. “We really put up a good fight.” Talbot, who ran on his experience, ultimately came out on top of his opponent by nearly 100 votes.
“Despite the fact that we weren’t able to nab any at large seats, I am incredibly proud of all that these candidates were able to do,” said Courtney Cullinan, the Democratic Chair. “The diversity that we were able to get on the ticket, and the fact that it was a full ticket, is incredibly important to us and what we were trying to accomplish.”
For Board of Education, Sam Rosenburg was the lone Democrat to earn a seat, securing 4,021 votes. She will join Republican incumbents Tony Perugini, who was the high vote getter with 4,096, and fellow Republican incumbent Adam Grippo, who secured 3,916 votes.
Voters also appear to have approved the funding for Bartlem South Project, estimated to be $7.9 million dollars. Unofficial numbers indicate the referendum question passed by a 3,770 to 3,338 vote margin.
For the Planning and Zoning Commission, it was a clean-sweep for Republicans at incumbents Earl Kurtz, III and Sean Strollo were joined by current PZC alternate Tom Selmont in securing victory. Fellow Republicans Anita Blake and John Hilzinger won PZC alternate positions.
Other victors include: Town Clerk Laura Brennan (R), who ran unopposed; Zoning Board of Appeals – Marion Nero (R), Drew Harris (D); Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate – Jerry Devine (D), Doug Noble (R); Board of Assessment Appeals – Michael O’Brien (R); Constables – Breina Schain (D), Ron Gagliardi (D), Randy Raines (D), and Chris Bahadosingh (R).
All numbers are unofficial.