Democrats sweep Hamden; Garrett should be the next mayor, campaign says

HAMDEN – After a year of twists and turns leading to a historic election for Hamden, residents finally know who their next mayor will be.

Democrat Lauren Garrett won hands down on Tuesday, beating Republican Ron Gambardella and independent Albert “Al” Lotto, who ran as a written candidate. Meanwhile, several Legislative Council races remained too close to be announced based on preliminary results.

“It’s not my win, it’s our whole win.… I want to thank you all for being there for me and being here for an amazing team,” Garrett said after hearing the results. and her followers had gathered at her house and celebrated the news.

“We are going to make changes in Hamden together,” she said.

Garrett got 6,144 votes to Gambardella’s 5,052, according to the unofficial vote tally provided by Garrett’s campaign, which did not include the postal ballot total.

Preliminary results did not include mail ballots or written votes for Lotto, city clerk candidate Melinda Saller or outgoing mayor Curt Balzano Leng, who registered as a written candidate but did not actively campaigns.

At 6 p.m., around 10,000 voters had gone to the polls, or about 27% of those registered, according to the Secretary of State, who shared data on Twitter. Closing of polling stations at 8 p.m.

In addition to a new mayor, Hamden will also have a new city clerk. Democrat Karimah Mickens was the only name on the ballot, and she won nearly 7,000 votes, according to unofficial results.

These results put several candidates for the Legislative Council in Districts 1, 2 and 8 neck and neck. Brian Murphy, Garrett’s campaign manager, told his supporters the races were too close to be called at 9 p.m.

Outgoing city councilor Marjorie Bonadies, R-9, fended off a challenge from Democrat Nancy Hill, winning 1,179 votes to 762, according to Murphy’s tally.

Councilor Adrian Webber, D-7, also appears to have retained his seat despite a challenge from Republican Cecilia “This” Shea. In Districts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, Democrats ran unopposed.

They also dominated the general council races, winning four of the six available seats, the maximum possible for a single party.

In previous polls, various issues affected the way voters cast their ballots.

Maggie Brunsen, who voted at the Hamden Collaborative Learning Center on Circular Avenue in the early evening, said she was concerned about violence, especially among young people. She wanted to see “more focus on kids, and something to give teens the opportunity to get involved.”

It could be an ice rink, swimming pool, community center, or educational opportunity. She voted for the Democrats’ list, she said.

“I just hope and pray that they do what they say they are going to do,” Brunsen said of the Democrats.

Shortly before Brunsen voted, Shane Tenner left the Whitneyville polling station at 60 Putnam Ave. having also voted for the Democrats. One of the main issues for the Hamden resident was LGBTQ + rights, Tenner said.

Meanwhile, Alison Cunningham had the city’s finances and affordable housing in mind.

“I think we need to have a conversation about affordable housing in Connecticut,” she said, adding that the discussions should revolve around who it serves and how to fit it.

On the finances, Cunningham hoped the new city leaders “will be honest about the finances of this city,” she said, declining to reveal who she voted for.

Betty Forbes also declined to say how she voted, but said she wanted to see more help for older people and young people looking for jobs.

She still votes, she said. Her grandfather taught her the importance of voting and she tried to get the message across to her own children.

“I don’t care who you choose,” Forbes told them. Go out and vote, because “your vote (counts)”.

Tuesday’s election came two months after a controversial three-way Democratic primary in which candidates approved by the party’s municipal committee won a landslide, beating a list led by outgoing mayor Leng and another candidacy for mayor by newcomer Peter Cyr.

Three names were also due to appear on the ballot in the mayoral general election, with Lotto applying to run as an independent. Lotto withdrew its name last month after apparently receiving ‘poisonous’ messages, then reversed the course and signed up as a candidate in writing.

In addition to a victory for Garrett, Democrats Katie Kiely, Cory O’Brien, Laurie Sweet and outgoing city councilor Dominique Baez won seats on the Legislative Council.

Councilor Elizabeth “Betty” Wetmore retained her seat with a total of 4,851 preliminary votes, the fifth highest of all candidates overall.

The sixth-highest voter will also get a seat, but who’s that winner was too close to call before the deadline.

With six seats available, Democratic incumbent Melissa Kaplan-Charkow was re-elected to the Education Council alongside newcomers David Asbery, Mariam Khan and Siobhan Carter-David. Based on unofficial results, Republicans Austin Cesare and Kevin Shea also appeared to have secured enough votes to win seats.

Democrat Reuel Parks defeated Republican Jeffrey Cohen to fill a two-year vacancy on the Education Council.

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