Credit: Lisa Backus

The Democratic Party in Hamden and Stamford voted for change Tuesday when they oust their sitting mayors in exchange for challengers. 

In Hamden, Lauren Garrett defeated three-term incumbent Mayor Curt Leng by more than a 2-1 margin.

Garrett will now face Republican Ron Gambardella and Independent Party candidate Albert Lotto in the general election on Nov. 2. 

Her victory also reflected the ascension since 2016 of a progressive wing within the town’s Democratic Party, which took control of the town committee this past year.

In Stamford, state Rep. Caroline Simmons defeated incumbent Mayor David Martin. 

Simmons won the endorsement of the Democratic City Committee in a close vote this summer. Martin then submitted enough signatures to force a primary election.

If elected, Simmons would be the first woman in Stamford’s top office.

“I congratulate Caroline Simmons on her victory and I pledge to do everything I can to get her elected as Mayor this November,” Martin said in a statement. “My administration has worked too hard for too long to turn over the future of our great city to Bobby Valentine.”

Simmons will take on former Major League Baseball manager Bobby Valentine, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate, on Nov. 2. There is no Republican in that race. 

Gov. Ned Lamont declined earlier in the day to comment on the primary contest in Stamford.

In New Britain, Rep. Bobby Sanchez defeated Alicia Hernandez Strong, a 25 year old community organizer. Sanchez had won the Democratic Party’s endorsement in that city. 

Sanchez will go on to challenge incumbent Mayor Erin Stewart in November. 

In West Haven, Mayor Nancy Rossi held off a challenge from John Lewis, a former aide to her predecessor Ed O’Brien. Earlier this month, O’Brien failed to file the proper paperwork to mount an unaffiliated campaign for his old office.