Connecticut voters will head to the polls tomorrow to elect local leaders in municipalities across the state with mayoral contests in some of the largest cities, including Bridgeport, where a legal battle has complicated the election of the city’s mayor.
Polls will open Tuesday at 6 a.m. in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities and although they will close at 8 p.m., anyone standing in line at that time will be permitted to cast a ballot. Voters who are unsure of where their polling place is located can find the right spot using the office of the Secretary of the State’s website here.
Turnout is typically low during off-year municipal elections. However, more than 33,000 Connecticut voters had already returned absentee ballots as of Friday afternoon, according to statistics from the Secretary of the State’s office.
Residents who are not yet registered to vote or need to change the town in which they are registered may do so on Election Day in the town where they now reside, though they may need to travel to their municipal offices in order to register.
Perhaps the most closely watched race in this year’s election will occur in the city least likely to know the outcome of its mayoral race on Tuesday. The Associated Press does not plan to declare a winner in Bridgeport, where a Superior Court judge has ordered the city to conduct a new primary election due to allegations of absentee ballot fraud, according to the news agency.
Voters in the state’s most populous city will choose between incumbent Mayor Joe Ganim, a Democrat, Independent Party candidate John Gomes, Republican David Herz, and petitioning candidate Lamond Daniels.
However, whether the results of Tuesday’s election in Bridgeport will ultimately decide the next mayor remains to be seen. Last week, Judge William Clark overturned the results of a September Democratic primary which saw Ganim beat out Gomes for the party nomination by just 251 votes.
In a case based on a lawsuit brought by Gomes, the judge ordered the city to conduct a new primary based on “shocking” video evidence of ballot stuffing by supporters of the incumbent mayor.
That means a new primary, and potentially a new general election, will be held after Tuesday’s election.
Although the Associated Press plans to tabulate results in Tuesday’s election, the news service will not declare a winner until the legal challenges are resolved.
Voters in Connecticut’s capital city will choose a replacement for outgoing Mayor Luke Bronin, who declined to seek reelection this year.
Democratic nominee Arunan Arulampalam, CEO of the Harford Landbank, will square off against Republican Mike McGarry and petitioning candidates J. Stan McCauley, Nick Lebron and Giselle Jacobs.
Eric Coleman, a retired Democratic state representative and Superior Court judge, is also seeking the mayoral post and has campaigned as a write-in candidate.
Another closely watched race will occur in Derby, where Second Ward Alderman Gino DiGiovanni narrowly defeated incumbent Mayor Richard Dziekan in the city’s Republican primary despite federal charges pending against DiGiovanni related to allegations he illegally entered the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to the Valley Independent Sentinel.
DiGiovanni will face Democrat Joseph DiMartino as well as Dziekan, the incumbent mayor, who is running as a petitioning candidate and Sharlene McEvoy, a Democrat who is also running as a petitioning candidate, according to the Valley Indy.
After easily securing the Democratic nomination in September, incumbent New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker will face Republican and Independent Party challenger Tom Goldenberg as well as unaffiliated petitioning candidate Wendy Hamilton in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 15-to-1, according to the New Haven Independent.
Voters in West Haven will choose a replacement for Democratic Mayor Nancy Rossi, who declined to seek reelection for a fourth term in office. Rossi was only narrowly re-elected in 2021 in a 32-vote victory that was eventually upheld by the state Supreme Court over a challenge by Republican Barry Lee Cohen.
The city will pick a new mayor as its finances continue to be the subject of state oversight, due in part to an audit which concluded the town had misspent as much as 80% of its COVID relief funding on the heels of federal charges against former state representative and city employee Michael DiMassa, who was convicted of embezzling COVID funds.
Voters will choose between Cohen, the Republican who came close to defeating Rossi in 2021, and Dorinda Borer, a Democrat who has represented the city in the House of Representatives since 2017.
Meanwhile, voters in the Brass City will select a new mayor to succeed outgoing Neil O’Leary, a Democrat who has been mayor since 2011.
Four candidates will appear on the ballot including Paul Pernerewski, the Democratic president of the Board of Alderman, and Republican Dawn Maiorano, as well as petitioning candidates Keisha Gilliams and Karen Jackson.
In Danbury, Democratic challenger Roberto Alves and one-term GOP Mayor Dean Esposito, are headed for a rematch.
The 2021 mayoral race between the two was a close contest that was decided by 290 votes — just over 2% of the total votes tallied.
The rematch hasn’t been without its own drama. Aside from the issues of schools and finances, a Supreme Court decision determined Esposito should be removed from the Independent Party ballot line.