By TAYLOR HARTZ
According to preliminary numbers, Republicans will maintain control of the Town Council for two more years, narrowly winning a super majority by 53 votes.
In a crowded room at Friends Café, Republican candidates and supporters cheered as the first round of numbers began to come in, revealing a lead in Republican votes.
“This has got to be the greatest victory in the history of the town,” said Republican Town Leader Brian Callahan.
While Democratic incumbent Christopher Palmieri earned the most votes, Republicans Michael Riccio and Victoria Triano trailed close behind.
Cheryl Lounsbury (R),Tom Lombardi (R), and Paul Champagne (R), were also re-elected, joined by former councilor Edward Pocock III (R), and incumbent Democrats Dawn Micelli, John Barry and Palmieri.
Republicans earned the most votes across town boards, earning a majority on the Board of Education (BOE), Board of Finance (BOF), Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC), and Water Board.
“This is unbelievable,” said Riccio, who has served on the council for 10 years and as Town Chairman for two.
Republicans Brian Goralski, Terri Carmody, Terry Lombardi, Patricia Queen, and Colleen Clark will serve another term on the BOE, joined by newcomer Republican Juanita Champagne.
The most votes were also earned by Republicans Ed Pocock Jr., John Leary, Joe Labieniec, and James Coleman on the BOF, Michael Domian and Ericka Pocock on the Water Board, and James Morelli and Jennifer Clock on the PZC.
While the Republicans had already begun to celebrate their super majority win on the Town Council, it was a late night of counting in the Town’ Clerk’s office – an error with District 5 ballots led Democrats to momentarily hope for a win from Anthony D’Angelo.
“Any numbers you have from District 5 are wrong,” said Ed Malcyzk, Registrar of Voters, just before 10p.m. on Tuesday evening.
A miscount of write-in votes from District 5 caused a delay in the count- the moderator re-circulated 18 ballots, though there was no eligible write-in candidate.
After the double counted write-in votes were subtracted, Champagne maintained the majority with 53 votes more than D’Angelo.
By 10:30 p.m., it was clear that Champagne had unofficially earned the final spot on the council, giving six of the nine council seats to the Republican Party.
Edward Pocock III was the only non-incumbent elected to the council.
Pocock previously served as Town Chairman and a member of the council from 2006 to 2012, before resigning to serve as Police Chief for the Southington Police Department.
“Getting back to fixing problems is what I’m most looking forward to,” said Pocock, “I miss being in a position where I can work on things that need to be fixed.”
Pocock said he plans to focus on “big issues” including the sewer systems and Flanders and Kelley Elementary schools.
The two referendums on the ballot passed by a large majority, both supported by Republican candidates.
The first referendum won by nearly 3,000 votes in favor of $2 million for Open Space in the town.
The second earned just over 5,000 favorable votes for a $9.4 million investment for a new senior on the site of the Calendar House.
According to Town Attorney Mark Sciota, official numbers will not be available until Wednesday morning.
Please visit us at SouthingtonObserver.com for all official counts.