FAIRFIELD — Democratic success Tuesday night at the polls wasn’t limited to the Representative Town Meeting.

In addition to getting a solid majority on the RTM, the Democrats now have a 6-3 majority on the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and picked up three seats on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

And the “Trump tsunami,” as one Republican called it, knocked out Tom McCarthy, R-7, who had been the RTM’s majority leader, and fellow Republican Hank Ference, District 8, who served as the deputy moderator.

It also didn’t allow a former RTM moderator, Jeff Steele, to make a comeback to the legislative body. Other Republican incumbents on the RTM that lost their re-election bids were Robin Orriss, R-3, Carol Way, R-5, Ray Neuberger, R-6, and Bill Perugini, R-9.

Until Tuesday, the RTM held a slim two-seat majority on the legislative body. After the unofficial results came in from the Secretary of the State’s Office, it showed a 23 to 17 Democratic majority.

While his party won the RTM seats, Democratic Town Committee Chairman Steve Sheinberg said, “The people of Fairfield are the winners in this election.”

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Vote Totals in Fairfield

First selectman

No race

Board of Finance (full term)

Christopher D. Skoczen (D): 5188

John Mitola* (D): 6060

Christopher DeWitt* (R): 5436

Tom Flynn* (R): 6096

Board of Finance (4-year term)

Sheila Marmion* (D): 7360

Board of Finance (2-year term)

Elizabeth Zezima* (D): 7271

Board of Education (full term)

Jennifer Leeper* (D/WFP): 7365

Marc Patten (D): 5701

Jennifer Jacobsen* (D/WFP): 7625

John Convertito (D): 6595

Nicholas Aysseh* (R): 5300

Jeff Peterson* (R): 5806

Board of Education (2-year term)

Christine Vitale* (D): 6380

Sally Connolly (D): 5212

Board of Assessment Appeals (full term)

Kathleen Griffin* (D): 6320

Harold Zawadski* (D): 5361

Trey Bickers (R): 5037

Carol DePietro* (R): 5479

Board of Assessment Appeals (2-year term)

William (Liam) Burke* (D): 6422

Tassos Recachinas (R): 4707

Town Plan and Zoning Commission (4-year term)

Steve A. Levy* (D): 5831

Mark Corcoran* (D): 5919

Gerry Alessi (R): 5279

Thomas Noonan* (R): 5393

Town Plan and Zoning Commission (2-year term)

Donan Meyer* (D): 5731

Daniel C. Ford (R): 5555

Town Plan and Zoning Commission (alternate)

Fredda Gordon* (D): 5636

Peter Elliott* (D): 5895

Rich Grauer (R): 5154

Michael E. DeGiacomo* (R): 5238

Zoning Board of Appeals (4-year term)

Sharon Strelzer* (D): 5752

James Baldwin (R): 5439

Zoning Board of Appeals (2-year term)

Dan Landry (D): 5400

Kevin S. Coyne* (R): 5728

Zoning Board of Appeals (alternate)

Jane Gitlin Nishball* (D): 5732

Daphne Dixon* (D): 5747

Fairth Dillon* (R): 5443

Charles Zystra (R): 4996


Kevin Flynn* (D): 6110

Jay Wolk* (D): 5446

Ruth Smey* (D): 5938

Charlene Lebo* (D): 5845

Mark C. Dunlevy* (R): 4977

Harry R. Ackley Sr.* (R): 5126

Frank Rowe* (R): 4874

Joe Peddle (R): 4729

RTM District 1

Tara Cook-Littman (D): 625

Nancy Carberry (D): 570

Nancy Lefkowitz* (D): 666

Mary Hogue (D): 584

Ed Bateson* (R): 710

Keith S. Varian* (R): 684

Stephen D. Chessare (R): 648

Peter Ambrose* (R): 761

RTM District 2

Erin Lopez* (D): 575

Cindy Perham* (D): 605

Bill Gerber* (D): 595

Eric Newman* (D): 570

Bill Llewellyn (D): 502

Timothy Lynch (D): 494

Jeff Steele (D): 528

Harry R. Ackley Sr. (R): 479

RTM District 3

Douglas A. Jones (D): 695

Heather Dean* (D): 795

Matthew Jacobs* (D): 704

Sharon Pistilli* (D): 746

Alex Durrell* (R): 729

Robin Orriss (R): 649

Diane Pagnozzi (R): 668

Ron Drew (R): 634

RTM District 4

Alice Kelly* (D): 965

Marcy Spolyar* (D): 935

Phil Pires* (D): 943

Solomon Briks (R): 511

Frank O’Reilly* (R): 606

RTM District 5

Josh Garskof* (D): 533

Joseph Siebert* (D): 512

Ruth Smey* (D): 553

Jay Wolk* (D): 498

Andrew G. Semmel (R): 335

Carol J. Way (R): 429

Roger V. Autuori (R): 341

Sally Connolly (R): 430

RTM District 6

Steve M. Berecz* (D): 343

Pamela Jones* (D): 370

Matt Ambrose* (D): 365

Hannah Gale* (D): 349

Jason Li (R): 242

Shannon P. Bowley (R): 230

Matt Boland (R): 230

Raymond Neuberger (R): 278

RTM District 7

Mark A. McDermott* (D): 455

Jill Vergara* (D): 486

Lauren Bove* (D): 464

Karen Wackerman* (D): 452

Alex Plitsas (R): 335

Thomas Keane (R): 317

Tom McCarthy (R): 345

Michael R. Mears (R): 313

RTM District 8

Rip Littig (D): 549

Kerry Berchem* (D): 611

Nhi Tran (D): 535

Susan Burstein (D): 595

Pamela Iacono* (R): 733

Peter Tallman* (R): 686

Christine Messina* (R): 677

Francis (Hank) Ference (R): 600

RTM District 9

Margaret Horton* (D): 725

Crow Mullineaux (D): 654

Andrew Chase Gausepohl (D): 593

Dru Georgiadis* (D): 827

Brian Farnen* (R): 724

Clifford Smith (R): 581

Dorene Herron* (R): 720

Bill Perugini (R): 649

RTM District 10

Greg Alprin (D): 532

Lisa Winjum (D): 571

Laura Karson (D): 586

Kevin J. Lennon (D): 565

Michael D. Herley* (R): 787

Frank W. Petise* (R): 733

Samuel W. Cargill* (R): 757

Eric Sundman* (R): 756

“This is what happens,” Republican Pam Iacono told supporters gathered at Flipside. Iacono was, until now, the RTM moderator. “We got caught up in a Trump tsunami.”

She said the GOP will “continue to hold (First Selectman) Mike Tetreau’s feet to the fire on taxes. People are leaving this town and there will be no one to left to pay the taxes.”

Besides the RTM, Democrats came out ahead in the town’s other races, too.

Gerry Alessi, the Plan and Zoning Commission vice chairman, lost his re-election bid, as did Albert Grauer, who was looking to continue on the board as an alternate. Both are Republicans.

On the Zoning Board of Appeals, James Baldwin, a Republican, lost his bid to retain his seat. Baldwin, an attorney, has been involved in the legal battle over last summer’s special election.

The makeup of the Board of Education remained in Democrats’ hands, but the party picked up one more spot with Christine Vitale winning a two-year term to fill out a vacancy. Incumbent Mark Patten, a Democrat, finds himself off the board, his spot taken by a fellow Democrat.

Republicans express concern

Republican Town Committee Chairman James Millington said the Democrats will now have to “do the heavy lifting for the town of Fairfield, something they have not been willing to do in the past.”

He said residents need to pay attention to what the Democrats do, adding that they will be the ones having to make cuts to the budget, instead of “throwing stones.”

Millington said he’d heard from some voters upset with Trump but added it is hard to measure what impact that might have had on Tuesday’s local elections.

“Fairfield is a town where it is really hard to predict where voters are going to go,” he said. “We are split equally between Republicans and Democrats. For some reason, the Republican base did not come out in the numbers we had hoped.”

Over the next two years, he said, the elected officials are going to have to make decisions to cut services find savings, or raise taxes.

“The RTM is now controlled by a very liberal group of Democrats and it will be interesting to see how they proceed,” Millington said, adding the GOP will be a vocal minority, fighting to turn Connecticut around. “Now, we need to put partisan politics aside and move forward working with those who got elected to deliver results for the town of Fairfield.”

Democrats celebrate wins

At the Bear and Grill, RTM member Heather Dean, who won re-election in District 3, said, “It’s so nice to be celebrating. It’s been a hard-earned fight, and the pendulum has finally swung in the other direction.”

Democrats swept Districts 2, 5, and 7, and picked up a seat in District 1, historically a Republican stronghold.

“We’re very pleased that the people of Fairfield have spoken loud and clear,” Sheinberg said, “and have given the Fairfield Democrats the majority on the RTM.”

The DTC chairman said winning the RTM will allow them to provide support to Tetreau’s initiatives and “enact a program of fiscal responsibility, while effectively funding town services, and our schools and our seniors.”

“It looks like such a clear majority in a mid-term election,” Sheinberg said. “We won a seat in District 1, and that’s historic.”

Unlike some, he wasn’t buying the anti-Trump theory as to why the twon swung blue on Nov. 7.

“The Fairfield Democrats ran an outstanding slate of candidates who contacted voters to earn their support,” Sheinberg said. “They ran on our vision of keeping Fairfield affordable and desirable.” 

The first selectman’s seat and the Board of Selectmen are not up for re-election until 2019.