Trumbull Democrats say they are proud of 'clean' campaign

Election Night was not a good one for Trumbull Democrats, with First Selectman Timothy Herbst and all of his GOP slate sweeping into office. See race results here.

Trumbull Democratic Town Council Chair Nancy DiNardo, who is also the state Democratic party chair, said they knew it was going to be a difficult race.

“The results are not much different than they were four years ago,” DiNardo said to her team Tuesday night. “I encourage you all to stay active because two years goes by quickly.”

DiNardo thanked first selectman candidate Martha Jankovic-Mark for stepping up to run. Jankovic-Mark, an eight year Town Council member, received 2,788 votes, while Herbst picked up 6,371, according to unofficial numbers.

“I really enjoyed campaigning — meeting people and hearing their concerns,” Jankovic-Mark said. “We tried to toot our own horn. But we’ll toot louder next time.”

This is the first municipal election since redistricting from seven to four districts. All 17 of the GOP’s candidates beat out Democrats running for Town Council. Under the new districts, only four Democrats will serve as minority representation on a 21-member Town Council. One of elected Dems is Vicki Tesoro, an incumbent, who, like her fellow running mates voiced concern Tuesday night about having a Town Council that is so heavily controlled by one party.

“I’m very happy to be able to continue serving my constituents. I’m not happy with the overall results,” Tesoro said. “But we ran a clean campaign and didn’t stoop to the tactics of the Republicans.”

Jankovic-Mark also criticized mailers sent to voters before the election, attacking specific candidates on the Democratic slate. One reportedly shows Board of Finance candidate, Tom Kelly, lighting a $100 bill on fire with a cigar and another shows candidates Tom Tesoro and Kathy McGannon in Halloween costumes and says “tricks for Trumbull taxpayers and treats for special interests.”

“I apologize to my running mates smeared by their campaign,” Jankovic-Mark said. “We kept it professional.

"I have never seen Tom Kelly smoke cigars with $100 bills and Kathy and Tom do not wear cat suits,” she joked.

Herbst, who celebrated Tuesday at Marisa’s claimed the Democrats were responsible for a lot of mud-slinging in the last two years and attacks he has made were simply 'punching back.' He also said his slate worked hard to get the vote out.

“I ran on my record,” Herbst said.