Election Day 2015: Town Council, education board seats open

With the ballots printed and the debates finished, it’s time for the final stretch of this local election season as Election Day 2015 arrives in Trumbull Tuesday, Nov. 3.

At the top of the ticket, incumbent First Selectman Tim Herbst, a Republican, will be challenged by longtime Democratic Town Council member Vicki Tesoro.

Elsewhere on the ballot, Democrats Anthony Musto and Cindy Katske are vying for the offices of town treasurer and town clerk, respectively. Incumbent Town Clerk Suzanne Burr Monaco and town Treasurer John Ponzio look to hold office on the Republican ticket.

Perhaps the most intriguing race is the town’s Board of Education, which has all seven seats open and 10 candidates looking to fill them.

On the Republican side, vice chairman Loretta Chory hopes for re-election along with current board member Jeff Donofrio. Paul Lavoie, who’s served as a member on the Board of Finance and chairman of the Republican Town Committee, is also on the GOP ticket in that race, along with Marie Petitti, a former teacher.

Rounding out the Republican candidates for the Board of Education is Suzanne Testani, who has recently served as a Town Council member for District 1.

The Democratic Town Committee is also entering five names into the education race, with incumbents Susan LaFrance and Mike Ward looking for re-election.

LaFrance, who ran as a Republican in 2013, switched parties this summer when Tesoro announced her campaign. Ward is a retired Trumbull principal.

Joining them on the Democratic side are Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, Lucinda Timpanelli, and Kathleen Fearon.

Not running for re-election are current board chairman Deborah Herbst, secretary Rosemary Seaman, and Joseph Peddle, which means that, at the very least, three new board members will take control of the school system’s $97-million budget and 6,700 students.

With all seven seats open, this election also ensures that the minority party will be represented on the board by at least two members over the next two years. Previously, the town had a seven-member board that served four-year terms.

Town Council

The education race isn’t the only compelling part of this year’s ballot.

Town Council could see some turnover with all its 21 seats open.

In District 1, incumbents Ennio DeVita, Donna Siedell, and Vincent DiMasi make up a majority of the Republican ticket, as former Trumbull Police Commissioner Jack Testani is the only newcomer.

The Democrats are running with four new candidates — Dawn Cantafio, Sheila Charmoy, Jon Greene, and Bill Mecca — in District 1.

Similar to District 1, the Republicans are running a trio of incumbents on their ticket as Edna Collucci, Cindy Penkoff and Tony Scinto seek re-election. Robert McGowan is the fourth GOP candidate on that part of the ballot.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Mary Beth Thornton hopes to serve another term on the Town Council. She will be joined in the race by candidates Angela Bulkley, Kevin Shively and Thomas Whitmoyer.

District 3, Tesoro’s district, features another three Republican incumbents, with Michael London, Carl Massaro and Lori Schwartz on the ballot again, with Mark Block filling out the GOP side of the ballot.

The Democratic challengers include Dean Fabrizio, Roy Fuchs, Marshall Marcus, and Jason Marsh.

The town’s largest district, District 4, has six seats open — five of which were previously held by Republicans, including four who will be running for re-election.
Democratic incumbent Scott Wich will be running for re-election, along with Paige Harrison Francis, Jim Meisner, Joe Schlig, and Lisa Valenti.

On the Republican side, incumbents include Joe Pifko, Mark LeClair, AnnMarie Evangelista, and Rick Constantini. Matt Caron replaces Beth Gilman in District 4.

Other races

In the Board of Finance race, chairman Elaine Hammers seeks re-election on the Republican ticket, while alternate Bill Haberlin and fellow GOP member Scott Zimov look to earn one of the open seats.

Incumbent Lainie McHugh headlines the Democratic ticket, while fellow DTC member Scott Kokosa will challenge for an open spot.

On the lower part of the ticket, Democrat Tim Cantafio is running for the Board of Assessment Appeals after serving as an alternate, while fellow party members Dan Helfrich and Tony Silber seek election on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Incumbent Jeff Craw seeks re-election on the Board of Assessment Appeals, while Rich Deecken and Larry Laconte Sr. will challenge the Democrats in the zoning commission race.

Richard Mayo and Rob Saunders represent the Republicans in the Zoning Board of Appeals election for board seats in 2015 and 2016, respectively, while Richard Puskar is the lone Democratic challenger.

Rounding out the ballot is the race for town constables, as Democrats Ray Baldwin and David Kayne challenge GOP candidates James Battistelli and Victor Pioli.


The office of the registrars of voters has announced where residents can cast their ballots.

The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hillcrest Middle School for District 1 voters; St. Joseph High School for District 2; Madison Middle School for District 3; and Middlebrook Elementary School for District 4.

The office of the registrars of voters is open for registration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. They will have special hours, from 9 a.m to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

In addition, Election Day registration is available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Town Hall.

For questions, call the office at 203-452-4059 or 203-452-4058.