Tuesday night ended as a big win for the Cheshire Republican Party as they swiftly removed some Democratic candidates from their incumbent seats, and took commanding majorities on the Town Council, Board of Education, and Planning and Zoning Commission.
“I am feeling really good tonight,” said Town Council Chairman Rob Oris, with a smile. Oris secured re-election with 4,365 votes, the most for any of the Town Council At Large candidates.
The rest of the At-Large seats will be held by Republicans — David Borowy (4,207 votes), Paul Bowman (4,337), Sylvia Nichols (4,350), and Tim Slocum (4,196).
In perhaps the biggest upset of the night, long-time Democratic incumbent Patti Flynn-Harris, who managed to earn 4,013 votes, was ousted. The only other Democrat to run as an At-Large, Lynn Alvey Dawson, garnered 3,561 votes.
The Democrats began the evening stating that they were “cautiously optimistic,” according to Board of Education incumbent Anne Harrigan, who narrowly kept her seat on the Board with 3,450 votes. Harrigan also turned out to be the only Democrat running for the Board who secured a seat, with the Republicans taking three of the four open seats.
Faith Ham (3,431 votes), Andrew Martelli (3,682), and former Town Councilor Tim White (3,756) will help hand the Republicans a 5-2 majority on the BOE.
“I am so excited to be on the Board,” said Ham. “I am so excited to join the rest of my peers and get things going in the right direction”
There was excitement for Democrats early on in the evening when unofficial results showed Jim Jinks winning the Second Council District race against his opponent, Republican Guy Darter. The news prompted Jinks to make a speech to the rest of the Democratic headquarters.
“I am so incredibly humbled by all of your support,” Jinks said. “I still can’t really believe it is real but I want to say thank you to everyone who made a difference. I can’t wait to serve the second district to the best that I can.”
Unfortunately for the Democrats, the excitement surrounding Jinks’s win quickly faded as more numbers began coming in.
Joining Jinks on the Town Council for the First District will be Republican incumbent David Veleber, who handily won reelection over Democratic rival A. Fiona Pearson. Republican Don Walsh unseat Democratic incumbent Jeff Falk by a 959 to 763 vote margin, and Democratic incumbent Peter Talbot, who ran unopposed, received 1399 votes.
“I am ecstatic,” stated Veleber. “It shows that hard work pays off. I loved every minute of my last two years and I can’t wait for more.”
The Republicans also took two of the three open seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission, with Rob Brucato and Woody Dawson joining Democratic candidate Matt Bowman in earning a seat. Democrat Robert Anderson secured 3,769 votes.
“Cheshire is a good town,” explained Dawson. “And the people have spoken. Thankfully, they’ve spoken for us.”