WEST HARTFORD — All four Republican candidates on the ballot Tuesday were elected to positions on the Town Council and Board of Education.
It was a clean sweep for the minority party that saw a fracturing earlier this year when some members left the party — including Town Council member Lee Gold — to revive the centrist A Connecticut Party.
Republicans Mary Fay, Mark Zydanowicz and Alberto Cortes will be joined by six Democrats, including Mayor Shari Cantor, Deputy Mayor Leon Davidoff, Ben Wenograd, Carol Blanks and Liam Sweeney and Adrienne Billings-Smith.
Gold’s new party came up empty with none of their five candidates being elected to the town council or Board of \Education.
Shawn Daly, the chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said his party is energized by the results.
“We’re energized even more than before,” Daly said. “We’re feeling very good about what happened. We feel we had the right strategy. We felt we had the right messages and that the messages were transparent and honest with the voters and that it resonated with the voters.”
Gold came the closest to capturing a Town Council spot for the A Connecticut Party, but fell 245 votes short of Cortes.
Daly said fending off the A Connecticut Party shows the Republican party doesn’t need to move to the center to be elected in West Hartford. He said they’re going to seek “true compromise” with the Democrats.
“They keep saying that the Republicans need to come to the center and compromise more,” Daly said. “The response should be that we need to come together and decide what are progressive liberal issues that we as conservatives can support. And what are conservative issues that liberals should support. That is what has made our country great.”
Gold said he has no regrets leaving the Republican party behind, even though it might have cost him a seat on the Town Council.
“I risked a coveted political position for my ethical and moral standards,” Gold said. “I had to set an example. I have two teenage boys who I am a role model for. I have to make sure that they understand what is right and wrong and you have to pick paths that make sense that you can be proud of.”
This is just the beginning for the A Connecticut Party in West Hartford, he said. Gold said earning 3,000 votes leaves them hope for the future.
“We are very optimistic,” Gold said. “I think that speaks volumes as where the electorate of West Hartford wants to be. Based on those numbers, we will become a legitimized and registered party in West Hartford. We now have two years to continue educating West Hartford and the community about what our party is and stands for.”
The Republicans ran only three candidates for Town Council, meaning they didn’t have a chance to take the majority. But in a town where registered Democrats heavily outweigh registered Republicans, Daly said their decision was by design.
“We were very strategic as a Republican town committee in selecting this team,” Daly said. “A lot of people asked why we weren’t running six candidates. If we had six people running, it would have been an even bigger field and more confusing to the voters. These are our candidates who are the right candidates for the town and here’s what they believe in.”
Fay, who is returning to the town council as its minority leader, said it was a hard-fought contest that she’s proud to have won.
“It was a really hard contest. I’m elated that the Republicans swept,” Fay said. “We took all three council seats and the board of education seat. I’m proud of all the candidates. It’s very difficult to put yourself out there as the minority party, whether that’s Republican or Libertarian or even the A Connecticut Party.”
Fay said her team will be looking at addressing crime and public safety, as well as infrastructure and other issues, at the Town Council level.
“We want to make sure that everybody has a seat at the table and be represented,” Fay said. “I’m thrilled with my teammates and I think we will make a great contribution to the town. Everybody is smart and cares and works hard. Nobody will be disappointed that they voted for us.”