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Benjamin Florsheim wins Middletown mayoral race

Middlesex

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Middletown has a new mayor Tuesday night: 27-year-old, Benjamin Florsheim.

Democrat Benjamin Florsheim and Former Republican Mayor Sebastion Giuliano both wanted the job. But Florsheim won the race.

Related: Middletown mayoral primary winner; people asked ‘how old are you?’

Florsheim made a splash in the race as the young candidate who has never held elected office; he is 27-years-old.

Related: Middletown mayoral race a generational contest

The race turned ugly in October when Giuliano accused Florsheim, whose family owns ‘Florsheim Shoes,’ among other businesses, of attempting to buy the mayor’s office by lending his campaign over $50,000 from a family-established trust fund.

Florsheim responded by saying he has put in a strong, grassroots campaign and “We made that loan because we realized that we were going to be vastly outspent if we didn’t bring resources into play.”

Related: Middletown Repub accusing Dem of trying to ‘buy’ the mayor’s office

Tuesday, the candidates went head-to-head at the polls.

Giuilano telling News 8: “This feels like 2005, the enthusiasm level, the response it has the same feel as that year and that was overwhelming win.”

Florsheim also confident going into Election Day: “They have appreciated that we have run a positive campaign, we have stayed focused on the issues, they have appreciated in many cases that I or a teammate has come to their door.”

In an interview with News 8 after his win Tuesday night, Florsheim said that he’s really looking forward to speaking with Giuilano because, “his experience as mayor, as a council member – if he’s willing to lend it – would be really really valuable to us as we get started.”

Lawmakers from Hartford getting in on the support. Lt. Governor Susan Sysiewicz tweeted Tuesday morning that she had gone home to vote for Middletown Democrats.

He says he’s focused on improving Main Street, public schools and to revitalize the riverfront. He says his campaign really focused on the future and he says that’s what’s important to him.

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