SOUTHINGTON — Republicans took six of the nine Town Council seats Tuesday night, taking back control of the council, according to unofficial vote totals.
Three Republican incumbents, Tom Lombardi, William Dziedzic and Victoria Triano won, along with fellow Republicans Paul Chaplinsky, Michael DelSanto and Jim Morelli. Democratic incumbents Chris Palmieri and Chris Poulos held onto their seats and will be joined by fellow Democrat Val DePaolo.
Democrats held a majority on the council for the past two years, with Palmieri serving as chairman.
Steve Kalkowski, Republican Town Committee chairman, said voters trusted Republican leadership and candidates. He said newcomers to the council, which included the chairman and vice chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, had proven their leadership abilities.
“They know what this town needs as far as economic development and open space preservation,” he said. “During the past two years, both of those have been lacking.
“Experience matters. Experienced leadership matters,” Kalkowski added.
Bob Berkmoes, Democratic Town Committee chairman, said he was proud of his candidates. Democrats followed through on campaign promises concerning taxes, Berkmoes said.
“We are team players. We will continue to make Southington a better community,” he said.
Triano said she was appreciative the support from voters. She said the council would return to a focus on economic development and open space preservation as well as seniors and first responders.
Triano said voters were looking for a different approach by council members.
“The tenor of the council was very different and I think the voters saw through that,” she said.
Poulos said he was proud to run an open, positive and transparent campaign.
“I’m looking forward to collaborating with the majority for the best of Southington,” he said.
The council will elect a chairman at its organization meeting. Triano had the most votes of any council candidate with 5,754. She was followed by Lombardi with 5,484.
Two Democratic incumbents, John Barry and Kelly Morrissey, failed in their reelection bids. A Democratic newcomer, Tony Mazzarella also didn’t get enough votes for a council seat.
Two veteran councilors, Republican Michael Riccio and Democrat Dawn Miceli, didn’t run in Tuesday’s election.
Absentee ballots hadn’t been included in Tuesday night’s unofficial totals.