Losing the Democratic primary election on Sept. 10 was a hit to 24-year Fire Commissioner Peter Criscuolo, but he’s not counting himself out just yet.
In an effort to keep his commission seat, Criscuolo has filed as a write-in candidate with the town clerk’s office.
“After the election, it was a fall down,” the longtime commissioner said. “People have been calling me ever since, up until yesterday, to apologize for not coming out to vote thinking that it was ‘in the bag’ so to speak.”
“I had 451 petition signatures,” he said. “I don’t think 15 percent came out to vote. Some people thought it was all set.”
Party-endorsed candidate Jennifer Caldwell bested Criscuolo in the Democratic primary for fire commissioner, 347-269.
Criscuolo said that he was “propelled” to run as a write-in candidate after seeing some Letters to the Editor from Caldwell and her supporters.
One letter from Theresa Ranciato-Viele, who supports Caldwell, argued that “firefighters should be funded by taxpayers.”
Criscuolo, who raised over $100,000 for the town’s fire department with help from local businesses, takes issue with that. He believes donations give “corporations a heart in the town.” Also, he said his opposition to such donations would be “breaking the back of the taxpayer,” as residents would be expected to offset the cost of equipment.
“I’ll work with anyone that makes the town and fire department better and safer,” Criscuolo said. “Everyone all aboard: Democrats, Republicans, independents” and unaffiliated voters.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.