Dickinson re-elected to 19th consecutive term as Wallingford mayor

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — Republican Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. won a 19th consecutive term Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Jared Liu for the second consecutive time.

“I feel relieved,” he said, “after six months of full-court press. People have voted and decided what they want to do and certainly we appreciate it.”

Unofficially, Dickinson received 7,180 votes, or roughly 59 percent, in the rematch with Liu.

Liu received 5,069 votes, about 41 percent.

The total number of votes cast in the mayoral race was 12,249.

Numbers are not considered official until they become certified by the Secretary of the State's office.

The totals do not include absentee ballots.

It was Liu’s second consecutive run for mayor. In 2017, Liu lost by 1,371 votes and received about 43 percent of votes.

Liu conceded the race on his Facebook page with most precincts reporting at around 8:40 p.m.

“Results are still coming in, but the mayor will carry to another term,” Liu said. “I’ll post more tomorrow, but thank you to everyone who supported me, to my family for embarking on this journey together, and to all the wonderful people who leaned into the conversation about how to make this town even better.”

Dickinson and his supporters gathered at Gaetano's Tavern on Main, which served as Republican headquarters, to watch as results came in from the town's nine polling locations.

As Republican Town Chairman Chris DiGenova entered numbers into a computer spreadsheet that was projected onto a white screen, candidates and supporters cheered.

After all the results were in, Dickinson continued his tradition of standing in front of an American flag at Gaetano's to give his victory speech.

“This election was a tough one with a lot of issues,” he said, “but I think the public want Wallingford going in a direction that we all agree with … The word that comes to mind, I’ve said it other years, is ‘humbling.’ ”

Democratic Town Councilor Jason Zandri, who opposed Dickinson before Liu’s consecutive runs, lost by more than 3,000 votes in 2013 and received 36 percent of the vote. Democratic Town Councilor Vincent Testa lost to Dickinson by 2,655 votes in 2011 and also received 36 percent of the vote.

Dickinson, 72, is the state's second-longest serving mayor, winning his first election in 1983. He has won every election since 1991 by at least 1,000 votes, according to town election records.

Since Dickinson's first run for mayor in 1983, 12 candidates have opposed him. Peter Gouveia, Vincent Testa and James Vumbaco and now Liu have each tried twice.

Dickinson trails only Republican Mayor Robert Chatfield, 70, of Prospect, in length of tenure. Chatfield, who was also re-elected on Tuesday, has been mayor of Prospect since 1977.

Twitter: @LCTakores


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