SOUTHINGTON — Republicans maintained a 6-3 majority on the Board of Education despite the defection of chairwoman Terri Carmody who was reelected Tuesday as a Democrat.
With all but absentee ballots counted, early totals showed that Republicans won six seats, the most allowed by state minority representation laws. Republican incumbents Joseph Baczewski, James Chrzanowski and Colleen Clark were reelected. Republican newcomers Dawn Anastasio, Sean Carson and Jasper Williams also took seats on the board.
Some Democratic incumbents kept their seats during an election that heavily favored Republicans. Zaya Oshana Jr. and David Derynoski were reelected along with Carmody, the former Republican chairwoman.
Democratic incumbent Bob Brown and former Democratic board member Lisa Cammuso lost their reelection bids. Katherine Wade, a Democratic challenger, didn’t win a seat.
Libertarian candidate Angelica Espada failed in her election bid. She’d been a frequent speaker at recent board meetings opposing mask mandates for school students, arguing the masks were harmful and accomplished little.
Vote totals Tuesday night heavily favored Republicans, with a large spread between the lowest Republican winner and the highest Democratic winner. All the Republican candidates got more than 5,400 votes while no Democrat got more than 4,800. Absentee ballots were not counted by press time on Tuesday night.
Baczewski, the board vice chairman, said he was thrilled at the results and the new slate of Republicans on the board.
“We have our veteran board members but we also have all the new board members,” he said. “The people of Southington are starting to see that we’re able to execute what we need to do in our district.”
Oshana said Tuesday’s results were disappointing but that board members of both parties would have to work together to face the challenges ahead.
“I’m excited to serve again but I’m disappointed at the outcome,” Oshana said.