What to know about Tuesday’s Cheshire Town Council primaries between four Republicans

What to know about Tuesday’s Cheshire Town Council primaries between four Republicans


CHESHIRE — The first Town Council primary in 25 years will take place Tuesday with Republicans choosing candidates for two council district seats in November’s election.

Town officials and candidates expect a small turnout Tuesday but also say it’s hard to tell how much interest there’ll be in a local primary race.

Sandra Pavano was on the slate to run at-large but switched to primary Tom Ruocco, the Republican incumbent in the second district. She was removed from the party’s at-large slate allowing James Sima, a former councilor, to run in November without a primary.

There will also be a primary in the third district between Andy Falvey, a former councilor and the party’s chosen candidate, and challenger Don Walsh.

Tom Smith, Democratic registrar of voters, said voting will take place at five schools. Voters in the second district will cast their ballots at Chapman and Highland schools while third district residents will vote at Artsplace, a town-owned art school, as well as Doolittle and Dodd schools.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the primaries. There are more than 2,400 Republicans in the two districts, Smith said.

“It’s impossible to say but typically turnout has been light,” he said. “We are expecting a slow day but you never can tell.”

The primary will cost about $9,000, according to Smith. An at-large primary, which would have meant opening all seven polling places, would have cost more.

Walsh said he’s been putting out signs, sending mailers, taking out ads and knocking on doors to make sure Republicans know about the primary and come out on Tuesday.

“I’ve invested a lot of my own money in this campaign,” he said. “I decided if I’m going to do this I’m going to do this right.”

Falvey said he’s been out-of-state in recent weeks and said the vote could hinge on name recognition.

“People are going to know me by name and the things I’ve done in the past,” he said.

Ruocco and Pavano have both been campaigning in recent days and said voters have to decide between candidates with different policy approaches.

Ruocco criticized Pavano’s support of proposed spending on a new middle school as well as a teacher’s contract, both of which were rejected by the Town Council. Pavano is a Board of Education member.

“You have to make sure people are aware of the voting record,” he said. “I’ve been a voice for the taxpayer, I’ve been an advocate for the taxpayer… My opponent has a very different record.”

Pavano said Ruocco was too close-minded during policy discussions and didn’t represent voters in the district.

“I don’t feel represented, Ruocco is always so negative about things,” she said. “If voters are not happy with him and feel they want someone who’ll listen to both sides and keep lines of communication open and move Cheshire forward and not be negative about how they’re going to do it, then they need to vote for me.”

Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Smith said he expects results quickly since there’ll be fewer voters than during full elections.

jbuchanan@recordjournal.com 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

Republican Town Council primary (Residents must be registered Republicans to vote)

When: Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Voting for District 2 primary between Republicans Sandra Pavano and Tom Ruocco will be held at Chapman School, 38 Country Club Road, and Highland School, 490 Highland Ave. Voting for District 3 primary between Republicans Andy Falvey and Don Walsh will be held at Artsplace, 1220 Waterbury Road, Doolittle School, 735 Cornwall Ave., and Dodd Middle School, 100 Park Place.

Residents must be registered Republicans to vote.

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