Ledyard Republicans hold onto Board of Education, Town Council
Editor's Note: This article corrects an earlier version.
Ledyard — Several Republican challengers defeated incumbents endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee to maintain a Republican majority of the Board of Education, while in the Town Council race, incumbents ruled the day, holding off two challengers to maintain the current makeup of the council.
A looming school renovation project coupled with a rising school budget were on the minds of Board of Education candidates as they made their final pitch to voters, while candidates for the Town Council cited efforts to build a local police force and new station as important issues for the upcoming term.
Republican challengers in the Board of Education race Anthony Favry and Andra Ingalls coasted to seats, tallying 1,446 and 1,438 votes respectively in early unofficial numbers, while board appointee Michael Brawner held his seat with 1,503 votes.
Incumbents Stephanie Calhoun, Rebecca Graeber, David Luke, Mimi Peck-Llewellyn and Steve Shuttleworth also held on to their seats.
Kevin DiFilippo also won a spot on the board.
The school board race expanded in July after the Republican Town Committee chose not to endorse incumbents Doreen Soldato-Szollosi, a professor at University of Saint Joseph, and Board of Education chairwoman Julia Cronin for additional terms.
The Republican committee nominated newcomer Ingalls, while Soldato-Szollosi and Gordon Strickland, who resigned in January after serving the board as a Republican, recieved endorsements from the Democratic Town Committee.
In the town council race, Naomi Rodriguez, the Democratic Town chairwoman, and Elizabeth Peterson, who serves as chairwoman of the Economic Development Commission, failed to unseat any incumbents, capturing 1,388 and 1,245 votes respectively.
Linda Davis, chairman of the Town Council, captured 1,805 votes and her seat, along with Fred Allyn III, Louis Gabordi, Mary McGrattan, Steve Eichelberg, Tom Malone, Bill Saums, Kevin Dombrowski and John Marshall.
Voter Jerry Lentz, who says he has voted in every election since 1974, said the race was not about any issue in particular, but rather the character of the candidates.
"Folks I want to keep in place (are) doing something for the town, with an attentive eye toward spending," he said.
The mayoral race had been long-decided before Tuesday, with candidate Mike Finkelstein running unopposed after Mayor John Rodolico announced in May that he would not seek re-election. He had 1,074 votes from the Ledyard voting district but the results for the Gales Ferry district were not available late Tuesday.
A retired police lieutenant, Finkelstein used his campaign as an opportunity to introduce himself to the community and he said was pleased with the support he found.
"People don't view me as political, they view me as someone who does (things) based on what's right and what's wrong." Finkelstein said. "The people in Ledyard want someone who does what they do regardless of political party."
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