Shelton GOP holds seats after absentee ballot count

SHELTON — Republicans maintained a significant advantage on the Board of Aldermen after absentee ballot counts Thursday confirmed GOP incumbents will hold seats in two wards with tight races.

Counters spent the morning at the Registrars of Voters Office Thursday checking more than 300 absentee ballots — and the results confirmed slim victories for Eric McPherson in Ward 2 and Cris Balamaci in Ward 3.

In Ward 2, McPherson won reelection, edging Democrat Kevin Kosty by 30 votes (1,242 to 1,212), with incumbent Republican Joanna Carloni placing fourth overall at 1,195 votes. In 2019, McPherson was the top vote getter in Ward 2, outpacing Kosty by more than 400 votes.

Republicans, however, did lose complete control of the board. Envision Shelton candidate Michele Bialek — who spent last week responding to claims of having unpaid taxes to the city — topped the field in Ward 2 with 1,385 votes.

In Ward 3, Balamaci earned reelection with 1,492 votes, 37 more than Envision Shelton candidate Matt McGee (1,455 votes).

"Politics is never predictable,” Balamaci said. “Our opponents worked tirelessly on their campaign; as did we all. But a win is a win. Thank you to all of my constituents that continued to support John Anglace and me and my colleagues.”

“I'm very thankful to the more than 1,400 people who trusted me with their vote,” McGee said. “There is a large constituency that believes in bipartisan governance that puts our community before special interests.

“Good change takes time, I learned that two years ago,” McGee, who lost by 368 votes in his run for Ward 3 alderman in 2019, said. “I'm encouraged by these results and look forward to continuing my community work in other capacities. I wish John and Cris the absolute best.”

McPherson began Thursday with a 47-vote edge over Carloni, with Kosty in third. In Ward 3, Balamaci held only a 50-vote edge over McGee.

“I deeply appreciate the support of the Ward 2 voters,” McPherson said. “I am humbled and honored to be given the privilege to serve again. As I always have done, I will continue to work hard on their behalf and have always put them first.”

In Ward 3, incumbent Aldermen President John Anglace, Jr., topped the field with 1,632 votes. Democrat Michael Duncan finished 897 votes, while Envision Shelton candidate Chris Jones had 806 votes.

Mayor Mark Lauretti headlined Election Day, winning his 16th consecutive term over Democratic challenger David Eldridge. The final tally had Lauretti at 7,100 votes (56.35 percent) and Eldridge at 5,500 (43.65 percent).

In Ward 1, incumbent Anthony Simonetti earned 1,926 votes, followed by fellow Republican Porter McKinnon with 1,699 votes. Democrats David Gioiello and Wayne Bragg had 1,062 and 897 votes, respectively. Incumbent David Gidwani finished with 848 votes.

In Ward 4, incumbent Bernie Simons, with 1,685 votes, and newcomer Lorenzo Durante, with 1,655, outpaced Envision Shelton challengers Board of Education member Amanda Kilmartin, who collected 1,311 votes, and Board of Apportionment and Taxation member Michelle Laubin, with 1,322.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com