needed just over 50 percent of the 75 votes from the Democratic Town Committee to earn the organization’s endorsement for mayor of New London. When the ballots were tallied, he was closer to 70 percent.
“I understand that this city has challenges ahead, and I’m willing to meet those challenges head on,” he said on accepting the endorsement.
The tally of voting committee members or their proxies wavered from 72 to 76, due to miscounts and one person who was disqualified due to having two proxies, before settling on 75. Buscetto earned 52 votes, while came away with 17 votes and six. , a registered Democrat who has entered the race, did not seek the committee's nomination. Buscetto said he did not anticipate what the outcome was going to be.
“You can never expect how people are going to vote on a closed ballot,” he said.
State Rep. Ernie Hewett put Buscetto’s name forward as the first nomination for the mayor’s office. Nancy Baude nominated Finizio, while Kevin Cavanaugh nominated Passero. Cavanaugh’s nomination included a brief speech supporting Passero, saying he felt Passero would be the only one capable of defeating in a general election. Pero ran uncontested for the Republican Town Committee’s nomination for mayor.
Buscetto has been on the City Council since 2007 and works as a real estate developer. Passero, an attorney and firefighter, has been on the City Council since 2009. Finizio, an attorney, formerly served two years on the Westerly City Council in Rhode Island and moved to New London last year.
Buscetto said he was honored to receive the committee’s endorsement, and thanked Passero and Finizio for running respectful campaigns. He said he would welcome a challenge, which would occur in the form of a defeated candidate collecting enough signatures to hold a primary open to all registered voters of the party. Passero said he would not pursue such a course, but Finizio said he would take out the petitions on Wednesday. He said the primary would be scheduled for Sept. 13, and that voters may register up until the day before the primary to take part in it.
“I was not surprised by the result. As a candidate who favors changing the New London establishment, it would be surprising to see support from that establishment,” he said. “For all the people who have waited for generations for things to change in New London, come out and vote.”
The vote for mayor was done by written, secret ballot. The voting members included Buscetto, Passero, and City Councilor Wade Hyslop. Finizio cast a ballot as a proxy
The committee took quicker votes to choose the Democratic slates for the City Council and Board of Education elections. Hyslop and Passero were both nominated to return to the City Council, and the committee also selected Donald Macrino, Marie Friess-McSparren, Anthony Nolan, George Potts, and Lily Rivera to seek seats on the seven-member council.
In the Board of Education slate, the committee opted to return incumbents Lousie Hanrahan and Bill Morse to seek seats. They will be joined on the ballot by Peg Curtin, Reona Dyess, Elizabeth Garcia, Delanna Muse, and Sylvia Porter. Two Democrats currently serving on the board—Vice President Susan Connolly and President Al Kinsall—are not seeking re-election.
The committee also selected Bill Giesing to continue serving as the Democratic registrar of voters.