Tom Ruocco, Don Walsh win Cheshire council primaries

Tom Ruocco, Don Walsh win Cheshire council primaries


CHESHIRE — Republicans Tom Ruocco and Don Walsh prevailed in low-turnout Town Council primary elections Tuesday.

It was the first Town Council primary in about 25 years, with Republicans choosing candidates for two council district seats ahead of November’s election.

Ruocco bested Sandra Pavano, 194-66, in the second council district. Walsh defeated Andy Falvey, 78-38, in the third council district.

Walsh said this was his first campaign, and he was pleased with the victory. He said he’d done everything he knew to do, although he had hoped for a better turnout.

“It’s been a long six weeks. I put everything I had into this campaign,” Walsh said.

Walsh said he had a list of 100 people who had said they would vote for him, and most of them did. The victory was a “big jump for November,” he said, speaking of the general election.

Of the candidates, only Falvey was at Town Hall Tuesday night to get official results from registrars. He said he was dissapointed but not surprised at the turnout. Falvey also said he’d been out of the state on family matters in the weeks leading up to the vote.

“I was not in town over the past few weeks to do what I needed to do,” he said.

Pavano was on the slate to run at-large, but switched to primary 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.

Ruocco couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday night after the votes were tallied.

Voting took place at schools and Artsplace. Despite schools being in session, poll workers said the day went smoothly.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill expected turnout to be low. “We made sure there’s plenty of room for people and that everything is secure,” said Kari Coyle, a poll moderator at Dodd Middle School. A voting booth and machine had been set up in a teachers lounge near a door. Poll workers were told to bring a book since there would be plenty of down time.

At Chapman School, resident Allen DeSena said voting was easy since he only had a choice of Ruocco or Pavano.

He talked with Ruocco briefly outside the polling location, but declined to say for whom he cast his ballot.

Voting took place at five schools. Voters in the second district cast their ballots at Chapman and Highland schools, while third district residents voted at Artsplace, a town-owned art school, and Doolittle and Dodd schools.

Only registered Republicans were eligible to vote. There are more than 2,400 Republicans in the two districts.

The primary cost about $9,000.

Before the election, Walsh said he put out signs, sent mailers, advertised and went door to door.

“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.”

During the weeks before the vote, Ruocco and Pavano said they’d be highlighting the policy differences between them.

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