Montville — Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly chose Ronald K. McDaniel Jr. to be the town’s next mayor.
McDaniel, the Democratic-endorsed candidate and a former probate judge, received 2,079 votes to 1,235 for Donna Jacobson, who was endorsed by the Republican and Independence for Montville parties.
During his campaign, McDaniel emphasized his education — he has two degrees from the University of Connecticut — and his professional background. He owns his own condominium management firm, Common Grounds.
McDaniel, 47, was stationed for much of Tuesday at one entrance of Fair Oaks School. He and his supporters wore shirts with the slogan, “Ronnie Mac has your back.”
Late Tuesday, McDaniel celebrated his victory at town hall before heading to the Polish Club. About 35 percent of the town’s 9,626 voters cast votes.
"We put a lot of hard work and effort in," McDaniel said of his campaign staff. "I look forward to working with other town leaders and we have challenging times ahead of us."
Voters also returned four incumbents to the Town Council. Councilors Catherine "Candy" Buebendorf, William “Billy” Caron, Gary Murphy and Dana McFee were re-elected. Rosetta Jones, a former councilor, and newcomers Chuck Longton and Laura Tanner were also chosen for council seats.
Caron, a Democrat who was an early candidate for mayor before withdrawing, led the council race with 2,234 votes. The council makeup will be five Democrats and two Republicans. McFee and Jones are the only Republicans who won election.
Jacobson, a former chairwoman of the Montville Fair and a lifelong resident of the town, said Tuesday night that she was neither surprised nor shocked by the outcome of the mayoral race.
She ran a campaign focused on her experience on the council and her knowledge of the town. She said her plan now is to finish her master's degree at the University of Connecticut, a pursuit that she delayed this semester as she ran for the town's top elected office.
"I have nothing profound to say," said Jacobson, who would have been the town's first female mayor. "I wish Ron the best of luck."
Next week, McDaniel will replace outgoing mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz, who chose not to seek a third four-year term.
McDaniel will become the town’s sixth top-elected official since 1969. He follows Robert M. Parkhurst (1969-71), Howard “Russ” Beetham Jr. (1971-89), Wayne D. Scott (1989-95), Patrick J. Dougherty (1995-99), Beetham (1999-2003) and Jaskiewicz (2003-present).
McDaniel had his campaign treasurer, Timothy Dulin, and his wife, Karen, by his side when he heard the election results Tuesday night at the town hall. He made it a point to thank both publicly, as well as the people who made him the next mayor.
"I got a lot of positive support and a great response when we went door-to-door," McDaniel said. "I couldn't have done it without the help of the people in my campaign."