Wilton election results: Vanderslice, Kaelin and Clune

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Come Nov. 30, Wilton will have a new first selectman when Lynne Vanderslice will be sworn in, taking over from fellow Republican Bill Brennan, who is retiring after 10 years in office. Vanderslice defeated Democrat Deborah McFadden Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the first contested race for first selectman since Brennan took office.

In Wilton’s other contested race — for Board of Selectmen — Republican Mike Kaelin and Unaffiliated David Clune were the voters’ choices, shutting out Democrats Brian Lilly and Gil Bray. This leaves Dick Dubow as the only Democratic selectman on the board.

The overall results were:

First Selectman

Deborah McFadden (D) — 1,384

Lynn Vanderslice (R) — 2,937

Board of Selectmen

Brian Lilly (D) — 1,307

Gilmore Bray (D) — 1,177

Mike Kaelin (R) — 2,779

David K. Clune (U) — 2,077

Board of Finance

John Kalamarides (D) — 2,549

Walter Kress (R) — 3,141

Peter Balderston (R) — 3,128

Board of Education

Laura Schwemm (D) — 2,565

Christine Finkelstein (R) — 3,236

Lory Rothstein (R) — 3,086

Board of Assessment Appeals

Charlie Lewis (D) — 2,486

Donald Drummond (R) — 3,188

Planning and Zoning Commission

Keith Rodgerson (D) — 2,435

Scott Lawrence (R) — 3,033

Lori Bufano (R) — 3,055

Karin Venditti (R) — 3,024

Zoning Board of Appeals

Joshua Cole (R) — 2,988

Gary Battaglia (R) — 3,012

Libby Bufano (R) — 2,999

Andrea Preston (R) — 3,038

Kenny Rhodes (R) — 3,026

Tracy Serpa (R) — 3,047


John Gardiner (D) — 1,561

Bo Mitchell (D) — 1,464

Richard Ziegler (R) — 2,477

Christopher Dubrowski (R) — 2,555

Christopher Gardner (R) — 2,537

A total of 4,372 ballots were cast, for a turnout of 38.7%

Under the Zoning Board of Appeals, Joshua Cole, Gary Battaglia and Libby Bufano ran for a full term. Andrea Preston ran to fill a vacancy of two years. Kenny Rhodes ran for a full term as an alternate while Tracy Serpa ran to fill a two-year vacancy as an alternate.
Post election
“I’m very happy tonight,” Vanderslice told The Bulletin at Trackside, where the Republican Town Committee was having a post-election celebration. “I had a great opportunity to talk to so many voters. Today was just a great day. There were so many families and kids —  it was really kind of a festive atmosphere at the polls, I felt. I think it was a really good day for Wilton and I’m happy with the results.

“Deb and I, I felt, had a really clean campaign and I appreciate that and I thank Deb for that, and I’m just really anxious to get to work.”

Vanderslice, who is now vice chair of the Board of Finance, will have her last finance meeting on Nov. 17.

Over at Old Town Hall where the Democrats gathered, McFadden thanked her supporters.

“We did something historic here,” she told them. It’s been 40 years since we’ve held the seat of first selectman. We did something really historic today: we ran a competitive race. Many of the people in the Republican Party came to me and said that they were just really stunned with the caliber of race we ran, and that was because of all the people in this room.

“One of the things we really accomplished was voter turnout,” she added. “I don’t know what it is yet, but it’s higher than it’s been in a long time, and that’s great, and there wasn’t even beer on the ballot,” she said, jokingly referring to the 2009 election when voters approved package stores in Wilton. The turnout that year was 39%.

“We’ve elevated the whole conversation about what’s going on in Wilton,” she continued. “We actually had dialogue about what the issues are, and that hasn’t happened in a while, because you would go to the polling place, and you would walk in, there would be one name, and what’s the point? So people didn’t vote; people didn’t discuss the issues, but we changed that. We got people to engage. People know more about their government now, and how it works, and what the issues are, because we talked about it.”

Reached by phone, Clune said, “I would like to thank my wife, Robin for her help in being very supportive in this process. Running as an unaffiliated candidate, I needed the support of both affiliated and unaffiliated voters. I want to thank everyone for their support.

“As I have said before, I want to contribute to the process of shaping Wilton’s future, and am pleased that I will be in a position to be part of that process. I think it is very exciting that I was able to join as an unaffiliated candidate, and am hopeful that others will be encouraged to be involved in Wilton’s many boards, commissions, and other volunteer positions. I’m looking forward to working with Lynne, Michael, Dick Dubow and Ken Dartley. I have also enjoyed getting to know Deb, Gil and Brian, and hope that they will continue to stay involved.”

Kaelin said he was gratified by the results. “I look forward to working with everyone who was elected tonight. The voters placed their trust and confidence in us and we will not disappoint them.

“We also will work hard to include many of the people who were not elected tonight, especially Deb McFadden,” he said. “Deb McFadden is a great public servant and a great person, and she did a great service to the town in presenting her ideas and giving the voters a meaningful choice, as did all of the candidates in contested races.

“As I said during the campaign, together we are going to continue to make Wilton a great place to live and work. I look forward to getting started tomorrow.”

Kendra Baker and Hayden Turek contributed to this story.

This story replaces an earlier story with preliminary election results.