Shelton candidates make final push for votes

Turnout has been steady through midday Tuesday as candidates made their final pleas to voters.

Mayor Mark Lauretti, seeking his 15th consecutive term, and his Democrat challenger, John Harmon, spent the day touring each of the four polling places. Through noon, the registrars office reported 17 percent voter turnout. At 9 a.m., turnout stood at 10.4 percent, compared to 6 percent at the same time in the 2017 municipal election, when Lauretti ran unopposed.

Voters in Ward 1 cast their ballots at Elizabeth Shelton School; Ward 2 at Shelton Intermediate School; Ward 3 at Long Hill School; and Ward 4 at Mohegan School. Polls are open until 8 p.m.

“I am fairly confident,” said Lauretti, who dared a soft rainfall to greet voters at Long Hill School, which was experiencing overflow parking throughout the morning and early afternoon.

“We started at 6 (a.m.) ... we were one of the first voters at Long Hill,” said Harmon, who was at Shelton Intermediate School at 9 a.m. “It was very vigorous at Long Hill. I was pleased to see how much energy there was among the voters. People came up to me and said ‘thank you for running.’ They were just grateful. It was very reinforcing.”

After intense Republican primaries, which had eight candidates petition to battle for placement on today’s ballot, the GOP returns seven of its incumbent Board of Aldermen to the ticket. Newcomer Bernie Simons, who narrowly defeated incumbent Jim Capra in the September primary, will be joining incumbent Noreen McGorty in running unopposed in the Fourth Ward.

Each of the other aldermen wards, however, have contests. In Ward One, Republican incumbents Anthony Simonetti and David Gidwani will be challenged by Democrat and newcomer Paul Littlefield; in Ward Two, Eric McPhearson and Stanley Kudej face Democrat Kevin Kosty; and in Ward Three, Aldermen President John Anglace, Jr., and Cris Balamaci will be challenged by outgoing Board of Education member Jose Goncalves and 18-year-old Shelton High senior Matt McGee.

The Board of Education faces the most potential changes, with three present members - board Chair Mark Holden, Anne Gaydos and Tom Minotti - not on the ballot. The three Republicans were not endorsed by the Shelton Republican Town Committee before failing to win their primary challenges last month.

On the Republican ticket are incumbents Kathy Yolish and Dr. Darlisa Ritter, joined by Carl Rizzo, Jim Orazietti, Ben Perry, Don Stanziale, Ruth Parkins, John Fitzgerald and Amy Romano.

On the Democratic side, the DTC endorsed incumbents David Gioiello and Amanda Kilmartin and newcomers Wayne Bragg, Diana Meyer and Patti Moonan for the Board of Education. Democrat Kate Kutash did not earn the DTC endorsement but gathered enough signatures to be placed on the Democratic ticket.

For Planning & Zoning, the Republicans are running incumbents Ginny Harger, Ned Miller and Charlie Kelly, with Peter Laskos and Bill Mikos for Planning & Zoning alternates. Democrats have Nancy Dickal, Elaine Matto and Quinn Weber running for Planning & Zoning; with John Uysal running for Planning & Zoning alternate. David Eldridge, Shelton police officer and former Board of Aldermen member, Second Ward, is running for a seat on the Planning & Zoning Commission as an independent.

The other Republican candidates are Ray O’Leary for treasurer; John Belden, Jr., Jay Francino-Quinn and John Boyko for Board of Apportionment & Taxation (A&T); and Aleta Miner and Julie Blakeman for Library Board.

Democrats have Robert Lally for treasurer; and incumbents Steve Guralnick, Joe Knapik and Michelle Laubin for Board of A&T.