New London's Democratic mayor among those not re-elected to Democratic Town Committee
Editor's Note: This corrects an earlier version.
New London — The city's Democratic mayor and his appointed chief of staff, also a Democrat, failed to get enough votes Tuesday night to remain on the Democratic Town Committee.
Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio and longtime town committee member Jane Glover were not re-elected to the 60-member committee.
City Councilor Michael Passero presented a slate of 20 candidates from the third district that did not include Finizio or Glover. Both were nominated from the floor but did not receive enough votes to serve the two-year terms. City Council President Wade Hyslop was re-elected but his wife, Jessie, was not.
"What this says is there's a lack of confidence in the mayor's leadership within his own party," Passero said Wednesday.
But Finizio disputed Passero's assessment of the vote, saying the overall committee represents a diverse cross-section of the city and that the upset in District 3 was "a bit of political maneuvering that would make any watcher of 'Survivor' proud.
"Of course Mr. Passero, in his inevitable campaign for mayor, will claim it was a victory," Finizio said.
There were 71 people at the caucus. Nominees needed a majority, or 36 votes, to be elected, and Finizio and Glover each received 15 votes.
Finizio said he believed the leaders of the party had worked out a slate that had included Glover and himself. He was unaware that Passero had organized an alternative slate.
Finizio, who is the first elected mayor in the city in 90 years, was voted into office in 2011. He is in the third year of a four-year term. Passero, who had to go to a primary to get on the town committee more than 10 years ago, also sought the office of mayor. But he withdrew his name early in the campaign after failing to get the town committee endorsement.
Finizio challenged the Democratic nominee Michael Buscetto III, won the primary and went on to win the election.
In District 1, 19 of the 20 names on a slate presented by Zak Leavy, Finizio's executive assistant, were elected. Marie Friess-McSparran, and her husband Dan McSparran, who are not members of the committee, were nominated from the floor but failed to get enough votes, according to Leavy. Friess-McSparran, a former city councilor, had separated from the Democrats during the last election when she ran, unsuccessfully, on the Republican ticket for re-election.
In District 2, all 20 people nominated by Margaret Curtin were elected. Committee members will be sworn in in March, when a chairman will be elected.
There also are provisions for primaries, which would be held in March 4 if the necessary paperwork is filed by Jan. 29.
New London town committees
Allyn de Vars
Marie Ann Gravell
Frederick Jake Kaeser
Clark van der Lyke
Gretchen van der Lyke
Sean Patrick Murray
Wayne Vendetto Jr.
Republicans also held their caucus Tuesday night and elected 46 members, including 12 new people. They are:
Heidi L. Cooper
Laurie Ann Drinkwater
Sharon Wyatt Giesing
Mr. William R. Hannaford
K. Robert Lewis
Thomas G. Plunkett
Lindsay M. Savona Esq.
George A. Sprecace
Jack Van Verdeghem
Lori Hopkins Cavanaugh
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