Faienza wins 2nd term

445 votes sep­a­rated him from Demo­crat chal­lenger Smith

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Cas­san­dra Day

CROMWELL — Repub­li­can Mayor Enzo Faienza won a se­cond four-year term Tues­day by a 445-vote mar­gin in un­of­fi­cial counts.

Faienza gar­nered 1,793 and his chal­lenger, Demo­crat Ken Smith, 72, a re­tired teacher, earned 1,348.

The town char­ter ref­er­en­dum, which would have changed the method for se­lect­ing clerk and col­lec­tor to make them ap­pointed rather than elected, failed by a 1,198 to 1,063 vote.

In pre­lim­i­nary tal­lies, Repub­li­can Sa­man­tha Slade eas­ily won re-elec­tion with 1,900 votes, the top voteget­ter. Demo­cratic Coun­cil­man Al Waters took in 1,570; Democrats James Deme­tri­ades, 1,477; and My­ron P. John­son, 1,470. Other re­sults were still com­ing in at press time Tues­day. Ear­lier in the evening, Smith was hope­ful when he learned turnout was up across the district.

“What I’ve been hear­ing door to door is they want to see a change, but that doesn’t al­ways come to votes,” he said. “I’m hear­ing the same things as I

was when I was knock­ing on the 800 doors. I’m not count­ing votes un­til they are ac­tu­ally counted.”

The 17-year ed­u­ca­tor has worked on many po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns over the years, in­clud­ing his first for Robert Kennedy’s bid for pres­i­dent in 1968, he said. Oth­ers he has helped out on, Smith said, were for peo­ple run­ning for Congress and gover­nor.

“My last cam­paign was for Gov. Jerry Brown,” he said.

“I feel fan­tas­tic. I call today the wed­ding day,” said Demo­crat My­ron John­son. “This is the wed­ding day. Peo­ple, gov­ern­ment get­ting to­gether to do what we do, and no one does it as well as we do. Peo­ple are en­gaged. I love ev­ery­body, Demo­crat or Repub­li­can, it makes no dif­fer­ence. It’s just peo­ple.”

“I like to see the way our sys­tem is: the great sys­tem in the world. You get to elect the peo­ple you want to be in charge. It’s just fan­tas­tic when you ac­tu­ally see it in ac­tion,” John­son said.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to talk­ing to vot­ers and mak­ing the town an open place,” said write-in can­di­date for Board of Assess­ment Ap­peals Matthew Long, 19. “I want to do a lot of con­stituent work, which isn’t stan­dard for the job, but I want to do it any­way.”

He’s en­cour­aged by young adults in sur­round­ing towns step­ping up to run for of­fice, in­clud­ing law stu­dent and Com­mon Coun­cil can­di­date James Deme­tri­ades, 24.

“Mid­dle­town Repub­li­cans made a con­certed ef­fort to find and re­cruit young peo­ple and you don’t see a lot of towns do­ing that,” Long said. “James took it on his own ini­tia­tive.”

Waters was out­side Tues­day evening as the chilly rain be­gan to fall, said the num­bers were sur­pass­ing the last lo­cal elec­tion: by his count, 2,817 votes and a lit­tle over 100 ab­sen­tees.

“We’re go­ing to hit 3,000 and our last elec­tion was 2,700,” Waters pre­dicted.

The town man­ager get­ting an ex­ten­sion on his con­tract and the raise brought folks out to the polls, he said.

“Peo­ple are an­gry — very an­gry,” Waters said.

Still, Waters was diplo­matic about the fi­nal re­sults. “You never know till it’s over.”

Cas­san­dra Day / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Demo­cratic can­di­date for Cromwell select­man My­ron John­son greets vot­ers Tues­day morn­ing at Cromwell High School.

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