Weston Democrats win big in election

Democratic campaign manager, Barbara Reynolds, embraces Chris Spaulding and Brian Gordon after the election results were announced. — Gregory Menti photo

Democratic campaign manager, Barbara Reynolds, embraces Chris Spaulding and Brian Gordon after the election results were announced. — Gregory Menti photo

The municipal election of 2017 was a resounding victory for Weston Democrats who won every contested seat they could by a substantial margin.

The results varied greatly from the 2015 election when Republicans dominated and took control of a majority of town boards, including the Board of Selectmen.

However, the tide has changed. In the first selectman’s race, Democrat Chris Spaulding had a resounding victory over Republican incumbent Nina Daniel. Spaulding got 2,112 votes, more than twice as many as Daniel, who got 908 votes, a 1,204 vote difference.

“I’m feeling an unbelievable amount of gratitude for all of our candidates, our 100 volunteers and the people of Weston who believe in our vision for the town going forward,” said Spaulding after the vote was announced. “We ran a positive campaign that I am very proud of and I’m looking forward to getting to work for our town.”

He praised the ground game of the Democrats and how party volunteers walked the town and made hundreds of phone calls in support of the Democratic ticket.

Joining Spaulding on the three-member Board of Selectmen will be his running mate Brian Gordon (D) who got 1,781 votes. He beat out Stephan Grozinger (R), who got 1,210 votes.

Because Grozinger got more votes than Daniel, he will get the third seat on the Board of Selectmen.

“I could not be happier and more appreciative of everyone who came out to vote today and of everyone who helped out on our campaign,” said Gordon. “I’m very excited to get to work extensively on our vision for Weston with Chris and Stephan.”

Grozinger was conciliatory about the election results. “Congratulations to Chris Spaulding and Brian Gordon on a decisive win tonight. I look forward to working with them both,” he said.

After the polls closed at 8 p.m., candidates and members of the public gathered in the middle school gymnasium to hear the election results. There were slight murmurs from the crowd as each race was announced, but the ambiance was respectful and hushed.

“It’s very exciting that all our hard work and all the work our volunteers did paid off,” said Barbara Reynolds, campaign manager for the Democrats. “I’m thrilled that we turned Weston blue.”

Successful Board of Education candidate Gina Albert hugs new school board member Samantha Nestor. — Gregory Menti photo

Successful Board of Education candidate Gina Albert hugs new school board member Samantha Nestor. — Gregory Menti photo

Contested races

In addition to the Board of Selectmen, Democrats earned every seat they could in the three other contested races.

In the hotly contested race for the Board of Finance, seven candidates vied for four seats. Steve Ezzes (D), the board’s chairman, was the top vote getter with 2,076 votes. He will be joined by incumbents Jerry Sargent (R), who got 1,402 votes, Rone Baldwin (R) with 1,362 votes, and Bob Ferguson (R) with 1,250 votes.

The three that didn’t make it on the finance board were Bob Machson (R) with 1,024 votes, Effie Thieme (petitioning candidate) with 835 votes, and Peter McGinnis (petitioning candidate) with 692 votes.

In the Board of Education race, three candidates were elected: incumbent Sara Spaulding (D), wife of the new first selectman, Chris Spaulding, with 2,106 votes, and newcomers Samantha Nestor (D) with 2,005 votes and Tony Pesco (D) with 1,777 votes. Incumbent Elise Major (R), fell short with 1,550 votes.

“All of our hard work, all of our walking, it really paid off,” said Pesco. “I’m thrilled with the results and excited to get to work on the board.”

There was a big upset in the vote for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Its chairman, Tom Failla (R), received only 1,376 votes, not enough to keep his seat on the board. However, incumbent Sally Korsh (D) got 1,943 votes and will return to the board, along with Britta A. Lerner (R) who got 1,479 votes. They will be joined by newcomer Harry Falber (D), who got 1,991 votes.

A total of 3,084 votes were cast in this election, representing a 47.2% turnout. Of those votes, 226 were cast by absentee ballot. In the previous municipal election, in 2015, there was a 46.7% voter turnout, a similar percentage to this year’s election.

On Election Day, 15 people registered to vote, bringing the total number of registered Weston voters to 6,521.

Election winners will be sworn in on Monday, Nov. 13, in the Meeting Room at Weston Town Hall. As of the Forum’s press deadline, time of the swearing-in ceremony had not been announced.

Additional reporting by Patricia Gay.

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