Republican wins spot on Democrat-controlled New London City Council

City Councilor Anthony Nolan, right, reacts as Martha Marx takes notes as preliminary election results come in Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Democratic Party Headquarters in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
City Councilor Anthony Nolan, right, reacts as Martha Marx takes notes as preliminary election results come in Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Democratic Party Headquarters in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

New London — Democrats secured six of seven seats on the City Council on Tuesday and lost one incumbent in favor of Republican Martin Olsen Jr.

Incumbent Democrat Martha Marx was bumped off the council in favor of Democratic newcomer Alma Nartatez, 49, who won a place on the council in her first run for an elected office. Nartatez is an alternate on the Planning and Zoning Commission and a relatively new resident who works in the environmental health and safety compliance field with Bard Corporation.

“I worked really hard and I’m thrilled,” Nartatez said. “I think I made a connection with voters out there.”

She will be joined on the council by incumbent Democrats Anthony Nolan, John Satti, Don Venditto, Efrain Dominguez and Michael Tranchida. Satti had forced a primary to gain his spot on the Democratic slate and was the second highest vote-getter behind Nolan, according to unofficial results.

Olsen, 63, who served on the council five different times, most recently from 2013-15, lost by three votes in the last election to Dominguez. Olsen was the fourth highest vote-getter this time around and one of only two Republicans to win a seat in this election.

Olsen said it was disappointing that more Republicans will not hold seats on the council but he would do his best to work with Democrats for the betterment of the city. He said he thought the city should take a "hard look" at instituting minority representation for the council and school boards.

“I think there is a mutual level of respect,” Olsen said of the elected councilors. “I ran for the good of the community ... not any one party."

Nartatez said her focus as a councilor will be to help stem the city’s reliance on state funding by increasing the city’s grand list.

Republican Kat Goulart, after her second unsuccessful run for a seat on the council, said the lack of registered Republican voters places the party in a tough position during elections.

“I think the Republican party needs to increase its voting base in New London in order to level the playing field,” she said.

Other Republicans who failed to secure a seat included Mike Hudson, Tim Ryan and John Russell.

g.smith@theday.com

City Council candidate Martin Olsen raises his fist in celebration as preliminary election results come in Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Republican Party Headquarters in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
City Council candidate Martin Olsen raises his fist in celebration as preliminary election results come in Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Republican Party Headquarters in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Adam Sprecace, right, and Aaron Ide go over preliminary election results on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Republican Party Headquarters in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Adam Sprecace, right, and Aaron Ide go over preliminary election results on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at the Republican Party Headquarters in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

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