Richetelli elected to fifth term in Republican sweep
MILFORD — Despite a bevy of challengers questioning his leadership, voters overwhelmingly validated the performance of Republican Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. by electing him to a fifth term Tuesday night.
Republican domination extended to city clerk as Linda Stock, a Republican, defeated state Rep. Richard Roy, a Democrat. Republicans based on unofficial results seized control of the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Education. Republicans will enjoy a 10 to 5 majority on the aldermen, and an 8 to 2 margin on the school board. Currently, Democrats have a 9 to 6 majority on the aldermen, and a 7 to 3 margin on the school board.
Richetelli received 8,093 votes, Democratic challenger Genevieve Salvatore, 3,714 votes, and independent candidates Peter Spalthoff, 1,335 votes, and Timothy Chaucer, 376 votes.
Despite the wide margin of victory Richetelli said it was his most difficult campaign to date.
"It’s no secret this has been a difficult year for me personally," Richetelli said. "I think we were straight forward with the people. People recognize that people are human and whether it’s a personal problem or governmental problem you have to be straight forward and honest and take it head on."
Earlier this year Richetelli spent one month in an out-of-state rehabilitation center
recovering from the effects of an addiction to prescribed anxiety medication.
Richetelli said he was "humbled" by the support he received from voters. He attributed the Republicans’ success Tuesday night due to a "proven record of fiscal responsibility and protecting the charm and character of the city."
At Democratic headquarters the mood was somber as tears flowed and condolences were offered to the candidates who were voted out of office.
Salvatore said Democrats ran a "hell of a campaign."
"We didn’t lie or cheat," Salvatore said. "We played by the rules. If this is the result of playing by the rules then so be it."
Democratic Town Chairman Richard Smith said he could see the "stunned faces," and it’s normal to speculate on why they lost, but it’s hard to fathom after Democrats increased senior tax relief, and cut taxes.
Smith speculated that the national health care debate had seeped into local politics and hurt Democrats. Other Democrats said the Richetelli coattails helped push Republicans to majority seats and blamed voter apathy as just 28 percent of registered voters actually cast their ballot Tuesday.
"We will be back," Smith said. "It’s not over."
At the Stonebridge Restaurant Republicans were cheering each number as it came in.
"It looks like the people of Milford have given us, Republicans, a mandate and the awesome responsibility of leading this city the next two years," Richetelli said.
Stock, who will replacing beloved long-time city clerk Alan Jepson, thanked her supporters.
"To all those doors I knocked on, thank you," Stock said.
Richetelli said for one night Republicans will party, but tomorrow it’s back to work.