New London Democrats had a strong showing in the City Council race on Tuesday, falling one seat short of a complete sweep.
The victory was one of a series for the Democrats, with candidate Daryl Finizio winning the mayor’s race and going to the party. The City Council race retained three incumbents, including the one remaining Republican, and brought in four new faces.
The winners in the race were:
- Michael Passero: Democratic incumbent, lawyer, and firefighter, 2,657 votes
- Donald Macrino: Democrat and Waterford High School principal, 2,401 votes
- Wade Hyslop: Democratic incumbent and minister, 2,400 votes
- Anthony Nolan: Democrat and police officer, 2,207 votes
- Adam Sprecace: Republican incumbent and mechanical engineer, 2,164 votes
- John Maynard: Democrat and former city councilor, 1,731 votes
- Marie Friess-McSparran: Democrat and community activist, 1,716 votes
“I think it’s phenomenal,” said Passero. “Everybody that predicted the death of the Democratic Party in New London was wrong. We’re back and stronger than ever.”
Outgoing City Councilman Martin Olsen, New London’s final honorary mayor, agreed.
“The Democratic Party certain pulled it together and obviously had a big, big night.”
Nolan posted a message of gratitude on Facebook.
“I am overwhelmed with joy and want to make sure you all understand that the support you have provided me is greatly appreciated,” he said. “I look forward to working with the residents of the community to improve equality, education and the quality of life for all.”
“I think I’m still in shock,” said Friess-McSparran. “It’s been a long day. I was very excited.”
Maynard said the result came as a surprise, as he was chosen to replace George Potts as a candidate after Potts had to withdraw in compliance with the Hatch Act. Maynard said this left him with only about a month to campaign.
"It goes to show that people definitely wanted change," he said.
Bill Satti, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, said he was unsure how the results would turn out. He also said he considered the results a sign of change.
"They were elected as Democrats, but they're now here to represent the citizens of New London," said Satti.
Incumbent John Russell, who was running an unaffiliated campaign, was not re-elected. Three members of the City Council were not running for re-election because they were running for the newly strengthened office of mayor: Michael Buscetto III, a Democrat running a write-in campaign; Martin Olsen, a Republican running an unaffiliated campaign; and Rob Pero, the Republican candidate.
Bill Vogel, chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said he thought the Democratic success was related to the turnout on the mayoral question. He said the Republicans will watch municipal issues closely and challenge issues they disagree with.
“There will probably be more referendums, is what I expect,” said Vogel.
"I look forward to taking the Democrats on and showing the constant contrast in government," said Michael Doyle, an unsuccessful candidate for the council.
Sprecace said he was appreciative that voters returned him.
“I think people appreciate my objectivity, and I will be happy to continue to give it to them,” he said.
Newly elected candidates will be sworn in on Dec. 5.
Marie Friess-McSparran (Democrat) 1716 Wade Hyslop (Democrat) 2400 Donald Macrino (Democrat) 2401 John J. Maynard (Democrat) 1731 Anthony Nolan (Democrat) 2207 Michael E. Passero (Democrat) 2657 Lorraine Allen (Republican) 1117 Daniel Docker (Republican) 691 Michael F. Doyle (Republican) 1274 Brian Giesing (Republican) 1031 Margaret Hansen (Republican) 861 Adam Sprecace (Republican) 2164 Jessica Cartagena (Green) 1041 Kenric Hanson (Green) 752 Joan Sullivan Cooper (Green) 1014 John Russell (Unaffiliated) 817