Election results: Herbst wins by 352 votes; Musto takes Treasurer position

Republicans continue to have Town Council, Board of Education majority following nailbiting 2015 Election

The election results are in, and the Republican Town Committee has reason to celebrate as it has claimed 15 of the 21 seats on the Town Council and five of the seven seats on the Board of Education.
The election results are in, and the Republican Town Committee has reason to celebrate as it has claimed 15 of the 21 seats on the Town Council and five of the seven seats on the Board of Education.

The voters have spoken, and Trumbull remains under Republican leadership after one of the closest contested elections in town history.

First Selectman Tim Herbst defeated Democratic challenger Vicki Tesoro by 357 votes — 5,851 to 5,499 — at the top of the ticket, winning his fourth term as the town’s top official with 51.5% of the vote, according to unofficial results.

It took the registrar of voters two additional hours after the polls had closed to proclaim the winner of the race, as 700-plus absentee ballots kept Republican and Democratic party members on the edge of their seat Tuesday night.  

Although the GOP claimed 15 of the 21 seats on the Town Council and five of the seven open Board of Education seats, it wasn’t a complete romp for the Trumbull Republican Town Committee.

Town Treasurer John Ponzio lost his race for re-election as Democratic challenger and former state senator Anthony Musto won narrowly 5,607 to 5,489 — the difference being just 118 votes. 

Town Clerk Suzanne Burr Monaco won re-election, beating out Democratic challenger Cindy Katske 5,977 to 5,135.

In total, 11,302 votes were cast at the polls Tuesday, producing an estimated 45% voter turnout — up from 9,159 votes that were recorded in the first selectman race in 2013.

Seven races were decided by less than 100 votes and more than a dozen races were decided by less than 500 votes.

Finals
A GOP chart breaking down Tuesday’s unofficial vote count, which includes the 700-plus absentee ballots.

Below are unofficial totals. Winners are in bold.

First Selectman
Timothy Herbst (R) 5,829
Vicki Tesoro (D) 5,472

Town Clerk
Suzanne Burr Monaco (R) 5,977
Cindy Katske (D) 5,135

Treasurer
John L. Ponzio (R) 5,489
Anthony Musto (D) 5,607

Board of Finance (vote for any three)
Republicans: Bill Haberlin, 6,435; Elaine Hammers, 6,440; Scott Zimov 5,606
Democrats: Scott Kokosa, 5,203; Lainie McHugh, 5,511

Board of Education (vote for any seven)
Republicans: Jeff Donofrio, 6,053; Loretta Chory, 6,026; Paul Lavoie, 6,085; Marie Petitti, 5,956; Suzanne Testani, 6,573
Democrats: Kathleen Fearon, 5,715; Susan LaFrance, 5,541; Lucinda Timpanelli, 6,027; Mike Ward, 6,074; Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, 4,866

Board of Assessment Appeals
Jeff Craw (R) 5,185
Tim Cantafio (D) 4,773

Planning and Zoning Commission (five-year term begins 2015)
Rich Deecken (R) 5,269
Dan Helfrich (D) 5,450 

Planning and Zoning Commission (five-year term begins 2016)
Larry Laconte Sr. (R) 5,588
Tony Silber (D) 5,036

Zoning Board of Appeals (five-year term begins 2015)
Richard Mayo (R) 7,254

Zoning Board of Appeals (five-year term begins 2016)
Rob Saunders (R) 5,487

Richard Puskar (D) 4,968

Constables (vote for any two)
Republicans: James Battistelli Sr., 5,734; Victor Pioli, 4,908
Democrats: Ray Baldwin, 5,933; David Kayne, 4,520

Town Council
District 1
Republicans: Jack Testani, 1,695; Ennio De Vita, 1,431; Vincent DiMasi, 1,556; Donna Siedell, 1,689
Democrats: Dawn Cantafio, 1,507; Shelia Charmoy, 1,341; Jon Greene, 1,321; Bill Mecca, 1,463

District 2
Republicans: Edna Colucci, 1,088; Cynthia Penkoff, x; Tony Scinto, 1,104; Robert McGowan 1,006
Democrats: Angela Bulkley, 969; Kevin Shively, 946; Thomas Whitmoyer, 1,105; Mary Beth Thornton, 1,181

District 3
Republicans: Mark Block, 1,525; Lori Rosaco-Schwatz, 1,719; Michael London, 1,581; Carl Massaro, 1,677
Democrats: Dean Frabrizio, 1,440; Marshall Marcus, 1,320; Jason Marsh, 1,483; Roy Fuchs, 1,422

District 4
Republicans: Matt Caron, 1,625; Joe Pifko, 1,592; Rich Costantini, 1,718; Mark S. LeClair, 1,640; Ann Marie Evangelista, 1,853
Democrats: Paige Harrison Francis, 1,519; Jim Meisner, 1,497; Joe Schlig, 1,353; Lisa Valenti, 1,676; Scott Wich, 1,445

Correction: An earlier version of this story said this year’s election was the closest in town history. In fact, there have been two narrower voter outcomes for the Office of First Selectman. In 2001, Ray Baldwin was elected to the post by 76 votes; and, in 1981, Paul Timpanelli won by 129 votes. In 2003, Baldwin won by 357 votes.