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.
Below are unofficial totals. Winners are in bold.
Timothy Herbst (R) 5,829
Vicki Tesoro (D) 5,472
Suzanne Burr Monaco (R) 5,977
Cindy Katske (D) 5,135
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
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
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
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
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.