Lauretti team sweeps Shelton GOP primary

Photo of Brian Gioiele

The Mayor Mark Lauretti-backed candidates easily swept the city’s Republican primary Tuesday, according to unofficial ballot totals.

“This is a real affirmation of the Lauretti team” said John Anglace Jr., who joined fellow Third Ward incumbent Cris Balamaci in staving off primary challenges from Greg Tetro and Peter Squitieri, both of Save Our Shelton. “This was done by the entire Republican party. Now I expect everyone to get back on the team for the general election.”

Board of Aldermen candidate Bernie Simons, who forced a primary in the Fourth Ward but had the backing of Lauretti and several other Republican Town Committee members — edged incumbent Jim Capra, who was originally endorsed by the RTC in July but fell out of favor with top Republicans only days later, 324-319. Noreen McGorty was the top vote getter in the Fourth Ward, with 475 votes.

“I think there is a feeling here that I should go out there and get the recount and be sure, and that is what I am going to pursue at the moment,” said Capra, who plans to call the Republican registrar Wednesday, Sept. 11, to ask about the procedure. “I just want this to be fair.”

Capra was a part of Here for Shelton — which included Tetro and Squitieri (Board of Aldermen, Third Ward); Mike Gaydos (Board of Aldermen, Second Ward); Chris Jones (Planning & Zoning); and incumbent Board of Education members Mark Holden, Anne Gaydos and Tom Minotti.

“It is hard to imagine after 28 years that our own would challenge us,” said Lauretti. “We did a great job in 1991, and we did a great job today, in 2019. This shows how important the team concept is. People say to me all the time what a wonderful job I have done. I could not do such a wonderful job without the supporting cast I’ve had for 28 years.”

In Ward Three, Anglace finished with 471 votes and Balamaci earned 411, while Tetro had 238, Squitieri 215.

Longtime Board of Aldermen second ward incumbents Eric McPhearson (379 votes) and Stanley Kudej (363 votes) each made it to the November ballot, easily topping Mike Gaydos (156 votes), presently on the city’s Board of Apportionment & Taxation.

In the end, Lauretti’s quest to reshape the Board of Education took its next step, as incumbents Dr. Darlisa Ritter (1,774 votes) and Kathy Yolish (1,814 votes), along with RTC-endorsed Carl Rizzo (1,781 votes), Jim Orazietti (1,752 votes), Ben Perry (1,739 votes), Don Stanziale, Jr. (1,725 votes), Ruth Parkins (1,581 votes), John Fitzgerald (1,686 votes) and Amy Romano (1,819 votes) all topped present board Chair Mark Holden, Minotti and Gaydos. Holden had 890 votes, Minotti 973 and Gaydos 925.

RTC-endorsed Planning & Zoning candidates also swept in November, as Jones, the longtime Democrat who recently joined the Republican party, finished behind present P&Z Chair Virginia Harger (1,603 votes) and fellow incumbents Charles Kelly III (1,775 votes) and Ned Miller (1,794 votes). Jones finished with 1,050 votes.