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Friday, November 24 News

High voter turnout, Republicans sweep contested races

NEW CANAAN — Despite the cold, rainy weather, polls in New Canaan closed for the day with over 5,000 voters trekking out to cast ballots for a new first selectman in a tight race.

Republican Kevin Moynihan secured the top spot by 33 votes over Democrat Kit Devereaux who got 2,655 votes to Moynihan’s 2,688, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office.

Devereaux will still serve on the board with Republican Nick Williams, who won an uncontested fourth term with 3,842 votes.

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Final election results

First Selectman

Kevin J. Moynihan (R): 2,688

Kit Devereaux (D): 2,655

Selectman

Nick Williams (R): 3,832

Town Clerk

Claudia A. Weber (R): 4,125

Town Treasurer

Andrew Brooks (R): 3,059

Robin Fryer (D): 2,136

Board of Education

Penny Rashin (D): 3,007

Sheri West (D): 2,960

Dionna Carlson (R): 3,688

Jennifer S. Richardson (R): 3,678

Katrina L. Parkhill (R): 3,695

Board of Assessment Appeals

Gerry Harrington (D): 2,247

Robert W. Avery (R): 3,008

Janis R. Hennessy (R): 3,586

Town Council

Colm Dobbyn (D): 2,590

Elizabeth Gores Donovan (D): 2,807

Sven Englund (D): 2,877

Tom Butterworth (R): 3,614

John A. Engel III (R): 3,548

Rich Townsend (R): 3,810

Penny Young (R): 3,622

Constables

Cynthia Franco (D): 2,381

Nicholas Mitrakis (D): 1,762

Ed Vollmer (D): 2,046

Arvind Bajaj (R): 2,472

Mary Anne Marcella (R): 2,949

Gregory Pepe (R): 2,581

E. Roger Williams (R): 2,682

John Amarilios (Green): 407

Hector L. Lopez (Green): 681

Republicans also took the town treasurer position with Andrew Brooks being voted in for a third term with 3,059 votes to Democratic opponent Robin Fryer’s 2,136. Town Republicans similarly stayed strong in the Town Council with all four candidates being voted onto the board.

About 40 percent of the town’s 13,626 voters came out for this year’s election, according to numbers from registrar of voters’ office. Mike Aldrich, the head polls moderator for the town, described the turnout as “significant and steady” and higher than expected.

The last first selectman race in 2015, when incumbent Republican Robert Mallozzi ran against unaffiliated Michael Nowacki, yielded 3,674 voters. Only 23 percent of voters came out when Mallozzi was originally elected in an uncontested race in 2011.

This year’s race hit 21 percent of voters by 2 p.m. and by 5 p.m., the election had already yielded more voters than the last race with 3,934 residents showing up to the polls. Though temperatures dipped into the 40s and a cold rain began to fall in the afternoon, polling numbers remained strong into the evening.

The campaign efforts were strong throughout the day, including among the contenders for first selectman. Moynihan stopped by the YMCA steam room around 4:15 a.m. to warm up after heading out to rally voters. Devereaux brought her dog, Louis Armstrong, to greet residents outside New Canaan High School.

Despite the significance of a race for the town’s top job, many voters said they showed up simply out of civic duty.

“We always vote because we’re good citizens,” said Gene Brissie, who cast her ballot at Saxe Middle School and has been voting in town for many years. “It makes me feel good to vote. I like being part of the process.”

“Channel 12 spurred me,” said 12-year New Canaan resident Brian Brady. “It reminded me it was coming up.”

Even as the polls prepared to close, candidates and party supporters campaigned in front of polling locations until the last minute.

Republican candidates could be seen cleaning up signs shortly before the polls at New Canaan High School closed at 8 p.m. Brooks, the town’s reelected treasurer, was still greeting voters in a New Canaan tie, having been out there since 5 a.m. on only a single cup of coffee.

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At Saxe Middle School, Richard Townsend, a town council candidate, huddled under a tent with fellow Republican supporters and current council member Steve Karl. Kept warm by a portable heater, Townsend said he’d also been out campaigning since 5 in the morning.

“We’re interested in municipal elections and to see who gets elected,” Townsend said.

Karl said he’s seen a record number of voters for a municipal election.

“It’s a tremendous turnout and it shows there’s a lot of interest in local issues,” he said.

The poll moderator at New Canaan High School where Senate District 36 and Assembly District 125 voted agreed about this year’s turnout.

“It’s been heavy,” said Jim Walsh. Walsh, who has been moderating elections for about eight years, said turnout this year is akin to a national election with a steady flow of voters coming in and out of the school gym.

“It’s a little heavier for a local election,” he said.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata

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