Faienza wins 2nd term
445 votes separated him from Democrat challenger Smith
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.”
Democratic candidate for Cromwell selectman Myron Johnson greets voters Tuesday morning at Cromwell High School.