NEWINGTON – Republicans swept the election Tuesday.
GOP candidates won a 6-3 majority on the Town Council and a 5-4 majority on the Board of Education.
Newly-elected Mayor Beth DelBuono led the charge, as GOP council incumbents Tim Manke and Gail Budrejko were reelected, joining newcomers John Donahue, Dave Nagel, and Mike Camillo at the table. Democrat incumbents Carol Anest and Chris Miner were re-elected to the council, joining newcomer Sharon Braverman.
Council incumbent Diana Casasanta Serra and newcomer Timothy Zapatka did not win seats.
For the Board of Education, republicans Bruce Fletcher, Bob Tofeldt, Sr., Beth Manke Hutvagner, Steven Silvia and Paul Vesella were all elected. Democrats Michael Branda, Jessica Weaver and Cindy Stamm also won seats. Democrat newcomer Sam Sharma did not.
“I’m excited,” Camillo said after learning he won a council seat. “My first priority is to sit down with everyone and figure out where we’re at. We’re no longer going to put fires out; we’re going to move forward.”
As Budrejko sat watching the votes be tallied up at The Rooster Company, GOP headquarters for the evening, she reflected on a tough campaign season.
As for priorities for her next term on the council, she’d like to see the grand list grow and the tax burden lessen.
“We’ve got to rethink our economic development - the position and the plan,” Budrejko said.
Across the street at TJ’s on Cedar, democrats faced a disappointing evening.
Braverman, a longtime board member who won a council seat this year, was happy voters put their trust in her leadership.
“To me the party lines don’t matter,” she said. “I wish democrats had the majority but let’s keep Newington strong and vibrant.”
Board member Emily Guion was happy to be reelected, though disappointed fellow democrats lost the majority.
“The board has always been non-partisan and I hope it will continue to work together that way,” she noted. “I feel like we made a lot of great progress in the last two years and I hope we can continue making progress.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or email@example.com.