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VIDEO: First Selectman DaRos Addresses The Crowd Following Victory

We're going to keep you updated on election news from the minute the polls open (within reason) to the moment the first selectman winner is announced. Stay here for live election coverage.

The Crowd Cheers "Unk, Unk, Unk, Unk" (Update, Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m.)

Most of the are in showing the democrats will keep their stronghold in the RTM, 19 seats to 11 – they formerly held a 22 to 8 majority – but the big victory last night went to DaRos who will enter his sixth term as Branford's First Selectman just after Thanksgiving. 

DaRos was treated to cheers of "Unk, Unk, Unk" last night when he beat Republican challenger Joy McConnell for the First Selectman's seat. He addressed the crowd thanking them for support and also highlighting some of the campaign trials and tribulations. 

Off the bat he started with numbers. "I always rate these elections as a rule of thumb. One is I know 20 percent of the people won't vote for me no matter what... I also know two and half percent are mad at me for every year I've been in office so that's 45 percent."

DaRos continued noting that he and his party "put up with a lot this election." Putting the party issues aside – you can read more about that – DaRos said articles and op-eds published in the New Haven Register on the eve of the election and on election day were upsetting. "For the New Haven Register to pull that maneuver is beyond comprehension," he said. "The rest of this," he added, "I find it to be kind of funny."

You can hear the rest of his speech by watching the video above.

Joy McConnell has not returned phone calls today to be interviewed.

Unk Wins Branford's First Selectman's Race 

After winning the First Selectman’s race tonight by 992 votes, the incumbent candidate told his crowd of cheering friends, family and running mates to go out and buy new seat belts because the next two years is going to be one heck of a ride.

Shortly before the results were in, DaRos said the next two years would be different from the last in terms of government discourse. Of some of the more heated RTM and Selectman meetings of the past, DaRos, “It’s just not going to happen.”

For now, though, he said, “We’ve got to go to work tomorrow morning.”

In a somewhat narrow race, Republican challenger Joy McConnell loss to DaRos 2,933 to 3,915 votes.

McConnell arrived at the Italian American Club where the Democrats were waiting for results and congratulated her opponent. She left before Patch had a chance to interview her but DaRos said of McConnell that she was brave to run as elections are challenging.

Ray Ingraham, the Republican campaign manager said, "We came close. It's still a disappointment."  He called McConnell "a newcomer to politics, but not a newcomer to Branford. "She came up a bit short," he said.

In the second selectman race, Andy Campbell-D takes the title against Jaime Cosgrove by a narrow 298 votes. Cosgrove assumes the position as Third Selectman being the next highest vote getter.

After winning the Second Selectman’s seat, Campbell said he wasn’t quite ready to celebrate given the fact that the Democrats lost a few of their RTM members where they formerly had a 21 to 9 majority representation. The final totals of RTM members are not in yet so check back with Patch.

“I think we are bleeding a couple RTM members from the majority,” said Campbell, “so the best I am getting is melancholy. Some of the best leaders in Branford are walking out right now pretty bummed out.”

On a brighter note, he said he was looking forward to working with Cosgrove and DaRos. 

Jamie Cosgrove, who lost his bid for the seat of Second Selectman said of the Republican results broadly,"I'm obviously upset.  It's not the result we wanted." Cosgrove did acknowledge, "We made some significant gains as a party." Of his personal success in winning a selectman's seat, he said, "I was hoping to be part of the majority, not the minority."

Today’s voter turnout was about what most poll moderators had expected with approximately 30 percent of the 17,590 registered voters turning out. Total numbers will be updated soon as they are available.

DaRos said the turnout was a little lower than he had hoped for and with one of the most beautiful days of the season today he said, “You can’t blame the weather on this one.”

We’ll have an interview with DaRos about this race tomorrow as well as full results from all the races. 

–Nancy Barnes contributed to this report.

 

Voter Turnout Unexpectedly High in District 5 (update at 6:15 p.m.)

The total town's voter turnout was somewhere near 26 percent as of 4 p.m. tonight according to Nora Vetrano, Assistant Republican Deputy Registrar of Voters. That total was expected. What came as a shock was the near 1,000 voters who had filtered through the doors of Indian Neck School, District 5 starting at 6 a.m. this morning at a rate of 100 people per hour. The district, Vetrano said, was going like gangbusters.

The registrar preemptively took action and ordered more ballots printed and sent a staff member to pick them up just after 4 p.m. when there was 500 ballots left at the polls. “We don’t want to get down to 7 o’clock,” said Vetrano, “and find out we’ve run out.”

District 4 and District 1, which were projected to have the highest voter turnout, were each stocked with 2,000 ballots for Election Day. District 5 was given 1,500.

In total, District 5 has about 2,736 registered voters compared to 3,098 in District 1. Tonight’s last minute ballot run will bring a couple hundred more ballots to District 5 just in case.

Of the high turnout, District 5 moderator Donna Melcher said, “I’m not surprised but at this point, I don’t want to have another Bridgeport.” Melcher is referring to the 2008 presidential election when Bridgeport ran out of ballots.

Melcher has been working the polls for more than two dozen years, half of which she has served as a moderator. This election with a rate of 100 voters an hour was no more stressful than past elections, she said. “I have a great group of workers and a great group at the registrar’s and in town hall so I have no complaints.”

As of 4 p.m., the overall voter turnout was 4,637 people, or about 26 percent of voters, with more expected to file in for the evening rush. On target with what she projected, Vetrano said the registrar’s office was not surprised with the turnout. “Local elections don’t drum up the same reaction a presidential election does.”

For results after the polls close, stick with Branford Patch

Three People Will Take to the Polls to Clean Up the Mess (Update 3:30 p.m.)

It takes a town to vote but on election night, there are just three brave souls who do the cleaning.

Branford Registrar Lee Thomas spent her day working the polls while her husband readied the polling centers and has big plans for this evening’s cleanup. Soon as the last ballot is counted, Joe Thomas takes to one center and begins to dismantle the machines and booths. Three people total, said Joe, take apart the centers and they do so alone. They take one center each and get to work, he said. 

When asked his anticipated finish time tonight, Joe said somewhere around midnight.

Joe is one of many people who work the polls on Election Day and help to make it all happen. The community says thanks to Joe and good luck with the sweep-up!

Branford Newcomers Enjoy the Day Off With Grandchildren (update 2:30 p.m.)

This morning at , with a table full of crayons and drawings, Linda and Dave Fritzsche were entertaining their granddaughters Isabella and Mia Armellino. Isabella is in kindergarten at so she was treated to a day off due to elections.

Mia said she was happy to be with her grandparents and had her heart set on visiting the "colored turkeys" at Gozzi's Farm in Guilford. 

This year the Fritzsches who just moved to Branford from Massachusetts are happy to spend Election Day with the kids but next year they said they'll be voting. "We're too new here to have voted," said Dave with Linda adding, "Next time it's Election Day, me and Papa can vote."

With politics far from the brain and a trip to the park up next on the agenda followed by lunch at and dinner at Mia said, "We have a whole day of fun!"

Were you off from work today or home with the kids? What did you do?

Candidates Make Their Rounds to the Polls (Update 12 p.m.)

Just before noon, I stopped by District 3, the Orchard House, and met up with current and his . Both posed for a photo and like most democrats and republicans at the other polling centers, the two were very amicable.

McConnell said she felt the race was going well. "I want all the republicans to come out and vote," she said. "Voter turnout is key for me. I was told it was going to be a close race and I hope so."

Earlier at District 4, Branford Hills School, DaRos said said he also thought his party was doing well. Ultimately he said, "It's up to the public on how they want to deal with it." 

By lunchtime, both selectman candidates were almost done touring all seven polling centers.

District 4 has the most registered voters with 3,278 total. Today, the turnout was steady for the center and moderator Lowell Collingwood said he had seen 250 people come through the door this morning. The turnout, he said, "is average." Collingwood, when not working the polls, is also known as a Branford Fire Department Captain – today he took a vacation day to do his civic duty as moderator. 

Though District 4 was the most steady of all districts today, District 6, Mary T. Murphy School, was slower than center moderator Dorothy Stenger had hoped for. "I thought activity was kind of overt all over town so I thought it would drum up more enthusiasm especially from 6 to 8 [a.m.]," she said. A moderator for 15 to 16 years, Stenger said she found the turn out, so far today, comparatively slow to past years.

Out front of District 6, Jamie Cosgrove-R, for second selectman said he thought the turnout was steady. Of his chances of winning, Cosgrove said, "I'm optimistic. It's hard to tell. I don't get excited until the final results are in."

Across the isle, or in this case, across the parking lot, Democrat RTM candidate Chris Sullivan proudly held a homemade sign up, encouraging voters. He said he felt confident that he'd get re-elected. "I knocked on 250 doors," he said, "and only two weren't happy."

Check out our photos above to see what other candidates were at the polls and what they had to say about this election. 

Early-Morning Ballot Casting (Update 8:10 a.m.)

This morning I headed to at the and moderator Walt Smith-R, told me that turnout was a "little light" so far. 

Despite a smaller than hoped for crowd, the stream of voters was steady from 6:45 a.m. until just about 8 a.m. when I left. 

Outside the polls, democrat candidates for RTM, and , as well as Second Selectman hopeful were holding political signs and greeting incoming voters. They were joined by two republican representatives, Colin Conte and Jeremy Schilder who are seniors at Notre Dame High School. They were volunteering for the republican campaign of , first selectman candidate, and , second selectman candidate, as part of their government class. 

We're headed out to next so if you're voting at Mary T. Murphy School, be sure to say hello! 

Did you vote today? Be sure to tell us in the comments and add your photos. 

Branford Election Day Coverage Happens Here

Today’s the big 2011 Election Day and Branford Patch is excited to keep you informed about how the races are going and what’s developing as the day unfolds.

For news first, be sure to follow Branford Patch on Facebook and Branford Patch on Twitter. You can interact with us via social media and let us know what you think about the elections throughout the day. 

We want to make sure you’re informed before heading to the polls so here are some helpful links to get you off on the right foot today:

  • We’ve got an interactive map of the polling centers.
  •  
    Be sure you know who you are voting for!
  • Meet the First Selectman Candidates
    and
  • It’s too late to register to vote but and the behind-the-scenes of preparation for the polling centers.

Because we won’t be at all seven polling centers at once, we hope you’ll inform the community about what you see around town. Please share your thoughts in the comments section and add your photos to this gallery with this story. If you're proud that you voted, let us know or if you see someone special, like your favorite senior citizen or one of the candidate, voting today, be sure to share a photo.

I’m off the polls now to cast my vote and I hope to see many of you today. Be sure to show me your “I Voted Today” sticker and I’ll be sure to stop and say hello!

Happy ballot casting.

SolarPete November 10, 2011 at 02:34 AM
my last name well I use to live at 156 harbor street
george November 10, 2011 at 02:39 AM
You see this is my point. You don't know the situation. Wayne DOES want Costco. Wayne DOES want Target. Wayne wants a mall. He is pissed he could not get a zoning change to accommodate and sell at top dollar. Wayne WANTS Bfd. to be Milford!
cirrus November 10, 2011 at 02:52 AM
the 60's?? Sabine? Walter!
SolarPete November 10, 2011 at 03:00 AM
He was my uncle
Wayne Cooke November 10, 2011 at 03:08 AM
George...What you don't know about me is a lot, but for more reasons than I can get into at the moment, Exit 56 has enormous potential. And just for the record, DaRos has three more big boxes planned for Exit 53--especially for all those that want to keep Branford small. Have fun on North Main Street. Signing off for now.
george November 10, 2011 at 03:23 AM
OK, convince me otherwise.
jeff November 10, 2011 at 04:07 AM
To Todd-You gave that guy your phone #? Are you kidding?and you haven't figured out Wayne is Pete and Pete is Wayne? Yikes!!!!
SolarPete November 10, 2011 at 04:57 AM
Wayne is Wayne Cook and since George seems to know who I am why should I say anymore so who is GEORGE? Is it George Libby? I tend to run flack for other folks but above all not one person has told me what they would do in Waynes shoes? only complain about what he is doing. As for me I would have used bearing grease on the signs
Todd Bainer November 10, 2011 at 12:01 PM
Of course Pete won't give his last name. He is too ashamed. Wayne, release your tax returns. We all know what you did with the YMCA. HUGE TAX BREAK. You didn't do it for philanthropy. If you spent as much time farming as you do breaking other people's chops, you would be extremely successful. You are a very smart and talented fellow. But you choose to direct it all towards negative stuff. Take your meds, please.
Todd Bainer November 10, 2011 at 12:22 PM
To Jeff. You could be right. But it seems George knows whom pete is and that he lives in Florida and hasn't lived here for 20-30 years. I don't know. I know he won't give his last name, which tells everyone something. As much as I disagree with Wayne, we both put our full names to it.
jeff November 10, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Expect more calls Todd....
Todd Bainer November 10, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Jeff no last name of course. The only calls I get are from Wayne. Put your last name to your comments, Wayne.
SolarPete November 10, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Where is Jeff and George last name my last name is Jackson by birth and I do live in Florida have for past 38 years, but know much about the little town I grew up in. I can bet you all know where all the bars are at but know nothing about the history of the town or the forefathers....
Todd Bainer November 10, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Wayne -- My ears are ringing. I returned your call without response. I understand you called Jamie and Gary Z and were saying stuff about me. Say it to my face and bring police and a very large ambulance to take you away. Pay your taxes.
Rob November 10, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Wow. That is a really low blow Wayne. This is why people dont feel bad for you.
Wayne Cooke November 11, 2011 at 12:14 AM
Stay out of it, Rob. Not any lower than his shot about our taxes, etc. Besides, I said it cryptically.
SolarPete November 11, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Hey Todd sweet house on Cedar street How about they want to raise the taxes because it is so nice but it needs a coat of paint grey isn't a happy color. So a guy who knows nothing about Branford sure can find ur house easy
SolarPete November 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Hey Wayne love the photo of Tony on the top of this article Question to all would u buy a car from him after seeing this photo? My caption would read What don't you trust me? Hey 2 more year how much trouble can I get into
Todd Bainer November 11, 2011 at 01:19 PM
Pete/Wayne -- whatever. Thank you. The house is sweet inside and out. The former police chief didn't want officers coming to meet with me at the house, instead of the station, because they would be overwhelmed by the building. He had to meet with me here every Thursday from 4-6. I am very proud of the building and preserving it. It is a Gustave Stickley house which has significance if you are familiar with architecture. We regularly have people, including Yale students wanting to see it and photograph it. Our family is only the third family owning the house since 1908. John Stegina sold it to my family because he believed I would keep it the same and restore things to original as they faded, which I have done. I kept my promise to him that Friday night when I met with him and his dog Amber. He had recently lost his wife to cancer in the building. He has since passed. But thanks for your comments about my family's building Pete/Wayne.
Wayne Cooke November 11, 2011 at 02:10 PM
So Todd....do tell...how big WAS the tax break DaRos promised you? As for your other drivel, get the facts before you embarrass yourself further. Cheers.
SolarPete November 11, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Todd I love old houses since I grew up in one on Harbor street. I live in a 1924 home that I've restored, made energy efficient, and added a solar PV system for all my electric power and all my hot water. I love the history of old homes and buildings. Being I did grow up in Branford I have always been involved with many things of it's history and I share everything I find with Jane your historian. I even have a link to the history of Branford from the History of New Haven county has some info most have never seen about the town.. I know Wayne is not perfect and he has done things that I know he regrets.We all have done this, but the bottom line is u all would be pissed if the town wanted to raise your taxes
Nicole Ball November 11, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Todd and Wayne, I have tried to stay out of your discussion but at this point I am going to close commenting if you both continue to attack one another personally. I will be deleting two comments, one from each of you. Please stay on topic so a discussion about the issues can continue. Thank you in advance and I am sorry to have to censor. I DO NOT like doing it.
Wayne Cooke November 11, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Fair enough, Nicole. I apologize, but I'm not going to sit back and let Bainer attack me and my family. I already get enough of that from his pal DaRos. Scroll back and you'll see he fired the first shot.
Nicole Ball November 11, 2011 at 02:32 PM
I just want to make sure that family, specifically, is left out of this. Thank you Wayne and Todd for understanding. Please consider that when commenting.
Wayne Cooke November 11, 2011 at 02:36 PM
I never mentioned anyone's family. OK, enough said.
SolarPete November 11, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Wayne/Todd better listen to Nicole doesn't matter who shot the first volley she can sink your battle ship with the click of a computer key. It's veterans day so go adopt a veteran for the day and enjoy the weather....
Matt November 11, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Hey Pete, I'm also interested in the histroy of old buildings and towns, something about early archtitecture is really fascinating. The link you are referring to, is it from the New Haven Historical Society online database or another website? Can you share it?
Matt November 11, 2011 at 05:17 PM
*Architecture
Wayne Cooke November 11, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Todd...Out of respect for Nicole and this website, knock it off. If you want to say something, you know my number.
Nicole Ball November 11, 2011 at 05:33 PM
I am officially closing the comments on this article.

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