HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Tuesday was Primary Day in Connecticut. Voters headed to the polls in more than a dozen cities and towns.
Turnout is typically an issue for the primary elections, especially in an odd-numbered year. However, municipal elections like this can have a big impact on people’s daily lives. Voters were asked to come out to many cities and towns to take part in these elections.
In Stamford late Tuesday evening, Mayor David Martin conceded the primary race to Caroline Simmons. She will run against former Major League Baseball manager Bobby Valentine in November for the mayor’s seat in Stamford.
In a statement, the current mayor congratulated Simmons and said, “Being Mayor of Stamford has been the great honor of my life. I love this job and this city. I have spent over 40 years in public service in the Mayor’s Office and on elected and volunteer boards in our city…I congratulate Caroline Simmons on her victory and I pledge to do everything I can to get her elected as mayor this November. My administration has worked too hard for too long to turn over the future of our great city to Bobby Valentine.”
In the Elm City, there was be an Aldermanic Primary for Ward 20. New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker was at Lincoln Basset School Tuesday morning to greet voters.
Of New Haven’s 30 wards, only the 20th had a primary Tuesday, so it got a lot of attention, all the way up to the mayor.
“I love election day because there is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement, but it’s also a way to engage with people,” said Mayor Elicker (D-New Haven)
That New Haven race for Alder has three candidates.
“What I plan on doing is having monthly meetings with the community and hope that they come out so that we can discuss what’s going on,” said Addie Kimbrough, who is one of the candidates.
“I’ve been organizing and fighting for justice and helping people stand up for their rights for well over 30 years,” explained Shirley Lawrence, another one of the candidates.
“I have a deep-rooted commitment to this community,” said Devin Avshalom-Smith, the third candidate. “I have the skills necessary to advocate for us and implement plans down in City Hall.”
Tuesday evening, New Haven City Hall reported Devin Avshalom-Smith won the election with a total of 260 votes.
Mayor Justin Elicker released the following statement Tuesday night congratulating Avshalom-Smith:
“I’d like to congratulate Devin Avshalom-Smith for winning today’s Democratic Primary. Devin is incredibly hard-working. I spoke with Newhallville residents who said that Devin knocked on their door five or six times. His enthusiasm, positivity, and commitment will serve his constituents well. At no time in our city’s history have I been more optimistic about our future than I am now. I’m looking forward to working hand-in-glove with Devin on the Board of Alders as we strive to make New Haven a city where everything has the opportunity to thrive – no matter which neighborhood they’re from.”
Hamden’s primary election has three candidates vying for the Democratic vote.
Incumbent Hamden Mayor Curt Balsamo Leng has skipped the party endorsement process and petitioned his way onto the ballot, trying for a fourth term.
Leng faces two challengers. Lauren Garrett, who challenged Leng two years ago, and got the town committee’s endorsement this year, and Peter Cyr, who is just 26-years-old but has already worked on some high-profile campaigns including for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Voters had a lot to consider.
“Some fresh ideas can be brought in and they can do something to provide an adequate amount of service for everybody, but at the same, the mill rate has got to not keep creeping up,” said Hamden Resident Derek Torrellas as he left the polls.
Around 10 p.m. the town of Hamden reported Democratic candidate for mayor, Lauren Garrett, had won the primary with a total of 2,962 votes.
Tuesday night, State Rep. Sanchez was announced as the winner of the Democratic Mayoral primary race in the City of New Britain over Alicia Hernandez Strong. Sanchez will face off against Mayor Erin Stewart in the mayoral race in November.
“I am humbled to win the Democratic nomination for Mayor of New Britain,” said Sanchez in a statement in part Tuesday evening. “And I have heard that residents are truly excited at the opportunity to elect a leader who will prioritize everyone’s needs across our great city. We need leadership in city hall that not only has a vision for our city but has a proven record of getting things done.”
The Working Families Party also released a statement following the victory of Rep. Sanchez:
“Today’s primary marks the first step towards setting New Britain on a new path. The current administration has thrived on divisive politics, leaving whole neighborhoods behind and schools short on resources, while criminalizing immigrant communities and supporting developers and landlords instead of working families. After years of Republican mismanagement, the city needs new leaders that are committed to building a city where everyone is welcome, where everyone can thrive. Bobby Sanchez is the right person to tackle this challenge and lead New Britain forward.”
There was also a Republican primary in Guilford for Board of Education candidates. According to Guilford’s Registrar’s Office, results show caucus winners include Tim Chamberlain, Nick Cusano, Bill Maisano, Aly Passarelli, and Danielle Scarpellino. This group is running under the “5 Reasons Why” slate and wants to get rid of what they view as the “indoctrination” of students in critical race theory.
Back in July, those five candidates won the endorsement of Guilford’s Republican Party.
There was a Democratic Primary in East Hartford for the Board of Education.
General elections are on Nov. 2.