Democrats Flip Control From GOP in 18 Connecticut Cities & Towns - NBC Connecticut

Democrats Flip Control From GOP in 18 Connecticut Cities & Towns



    Did Trump Effect Help Democrats in Connecticut

    Democrats took control of municipal offices in 18 towns during Tuesday's elections.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017)

    The votes from the 2017 municipal elections in Connecticut have been tallied and Democrats have taken control from Republicans in 18 cities and towns.

    As for whether the first year of the Trump presidency had an effect on these local races, that depends on who you ask.

    In Guilford, Democrat Matt Hoey will replace the outgoing Republican First Selectman Joseph Mazza who did not seek re-election.

    Voter turnout in the shoreline town was slightly up from four years ago. Hoey defeated the GOP candidate Ken Mackenzie with 65 percent of the vote.

    Democrats flip control from GOP in 18 Connecticut cities and towns on Election Day
    Photo credit: NBC Connecticut

    "We did doors, we did phone calls, we did you know digital, we had neighbors talking to neighbors," Hoey’s campaign manager Meghan Forgione told NBC Connecticut.

    Democrats will now have a 3-2 majority on the Guilford Board of Selectmen and Hoey will serve as the town’s chief executive.

    "Matt has a vision for Guilford he knows where we want to go," Guilford Democratic Town Committee Chair Veronica Wallace said. "How we want to maintain our triple-A bond rating."

    Voters unhappy with the Trump presidency wanted to make sure their voices were heard in the first local election since his victory one year ago, Wallace said.

    "Everything starts at the ground level and works up," she said. "I think people are dissatisfied with what they’re seeing at the national level and I think on some level it probably trickled down into Guilford."

    But Gloria Nemczuk, the chair of Guilford’s Republican Town Committee, disagreed that Trump had a trickle-down effect on Connecticut’s municipal elections.

    "I think you have to look at each individual race," Nemczuk said. "Connecticut itself is unique in each town."

    As a Trump supporter, Sandy Natarelli from Madison said she is surprised to learn that 18 cities and towns statewide flipped from red to blue.

    "With everything he’s doing, the unemployment is less, there’s more job opportunities for people," she said. "I just think President Trump is getting a bad rap because of his personality per se."

    For both political parties in Connecticut, the focus now shifts to Decision 2018.

    "I’m prepared for the governor’s race with our town committee," Nemczuk said.

    "This year we really capitalized and got so many more people elected locally and that just sets the groundwork for our state races and our national races," Forgione said.

    In Guilford, Democrats also won a 4-3 majority on the Boards of Finance and Education.

    Forgione said she is most interested in the eastern Connecticut towns that flipped into Democratic control because that’s where many of the state’s Trump supporters live.

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