By SPENCER DREHER
There was a load of optimism inside Friends Cafe on Tuesday night. As high numbers came in for each Republican candidate, the GOP headquarters erupted in cheers. Republicans won in a landslide.
After losing the majority on the town council in 2017, the GOP gained super majority in the town council, the board of education, and a 4-2 majority on the board of finance. They also won the majority on the planning and zoning commission.
Party chair, Steve Kalkowski said that he could not have been more thrilled with the results, and he thanked all the candidates for their tireless effort. Republicans came in first in every race. Republicans swept the top six spots on the council and the top four on the BOF. Republican candidates were the top three finishers in the BOE race and captured five of the top six positions.
“It is unbelievable,” Kalkowski said. “I am so happy for our candidates. They worked their tails off. They knocked on over 4,000 doors. It came down to the candidates getting our platform of fiscal conservative out there.”
The Republicans elected to town council included incumbents Victoria Triano, Tom Lombardi, and William Dziedzic, as well as Paul Chaplinsky Jr., Mike Del Santo, and Jim Morelli.
On the BOE, incumbents Terri Carmody, Colleen Clark, and Joseph Baczewski joined David Falvo, Missy Cipriano, and James Chrzanowski.
On the BOF, Edward S. Pocock Jr., John Leary, Tony Morrison, and Joseph Labieniec each won bids for re-election.
After the tough loss in 2017, Kalkowski said the party worked on bringing in some fresh, new candidates, that had years of experience working in other areas of government.
“Dave Falvo just graduated college and his aspiration is to be a superintendent down the road,” Kalkowski said. “He worked his tail off to get to this point. and he is going to learn a tremendous amount being on the board. Missy Cipriano gave tireless efforts all around town. People know Missy, they trust Missy, and she is going to do a great job on the board. James Chrzanowski was brand new to us, but he has the right mindset. He went and knocked on doors, and people trust him now.”
Del Santo joins the town council after serving on the planning and zoning commission for 18 years, and he said he is ready to get to work immediately.
“It is time to get back to work,” Del Santo said. “We need economic development in this town. Our first course of action is to bring back the economic strike committee. That starts as soon as possible. We need a healthy balance of residential business and industrial growth and that starts right now.”
Carmody said the win Tuesday night was a sign that the town believes in its education system.
“The town showed us tonight that they are pleased with the direction our school system has taken,” Carmody said. “That makes my heart sing. This was not only a win for us. It was a win for the town and for our students.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.