As the polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, mayoral challenger David Gioiello and a few other Democratic candidates and supporters opened a bottle of wine.
“Cheers,” Gioiello said at the gathering inside his family’s business in Huntington Center.
They were awaiting the results from the city’s polling places, and Gioiello admitted he was “pessimistic” about his chances.
“It’s an uphill battle in Shelton,” he said in a reference to the longtime dominance of Mayor Mark Lauretti and other Republicans.
The results later came in, and they were not good. Gioiello lost in a landslide to Lauretti. Alderman Jack Finn was the only Democrat to win a race not guaranteed by minority-party representation rules. Gioiello’s wife, Denese Deeds, lost a race for the Library Board.
‘People are glad we ran’
Still, Gioiello said he had enjoyed his long day standing outside polling places to meet with voters. “We met a lot of nice people at the polls — and they were really supportive,” he said. “Win or lose, a lot of people are glad we ran.”
Gioiello also expressed some optimism about the future. “This is just the beginning of 2015,” he said, referring to the next mayoral election year.
At age 66, Gioiello said he’s not interested in running again himself. He also ran unsuccessfully against Lauretti in 2007.
Gioiello, who serves as Shelton Democratic Town Committee chairman, thinks the party will need someone younger than himself to be its standard-bearer the next time around.
Hoping for second aldermanic win
Before the results came in, Gioiello was holding out hope the Democrats might have a chance to pick up a second aldermanic seat — perhaps in the Second Ward with Michele Bialek or the Third Ward with Chris Jones.
Jones, who ran unsuccessfully against Lauretti in 2011 and 2009, dropped by the gathering to take in the results with his fellow Democrats.
“I saw a lot of familiar faces at Long Hill School,” Jones said of his day spent outside the polling place to meet with voters.
He promised to stay involved, no matter what the result. “I’m still living in Shelton and I’m not going anywhere,” Jones said. “I’ll still be active.”
Democrat Jimmy Tickey said he was “thrilled” to win a four-year term on the Planning and Zoning Commission. The seat was guaranteed to one of two Democrats.
“I worked very hard and I think voters know that,” said Tickey, whose campaign attempted to make contact with every voter. “My campaign resonated with voters.”