Wilton election results: Vanderslice, Kaelin and Clune
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:
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.
“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.