Dozens of Local Wins Across Connecticut Show Voter Appetite for Progressive Change, Resistance to Trump Politics Ahead of 2018

Click here for complete list of WFP endorsements

35 of 56 WFP-endorsed Candidates Win Elections

Statewide – In response to municipal election results on Tuesday, November 7th.
Carlos Moreno, Interim State Director of Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates WFP candidates across the state on their hard fought victories, and thanks them for their deep commitments to economic, social, and racial justice at the local level. We also express our deepest gratitude to candidates who although may have fallen short of winning their races, were instrumental in bringing working families values to their communities. This is the groundwork that will help advance progress in elections to come.”

“Connecticut’s 2017 municipal elections are a clear demonstration of resistance at work. Voter resistance to Trumpism at the local level speaks well to our potential in 2018.”

“Since the presidential primaries last year, we have found our state in the midst of a political landscape where Trump has enabled some right-wing politicians to run openly on racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-worker platforms. In Connecticut, we continue to see workers and marginalized communities unfairly attacked and made out to be the villains. Voters delivered a strong repudiation of those harmful views.”

“The night was quickly defined by a trend of first-time progressive candidates, energized and motivated to come out against a hostile, right-wing political climate, running and winning. The results are dramatic, with 18 towns across the state flipping from red to blue. It’s clear that voters want change, and the results are a testament to the will for progressive ideas and alternatives to anti-worker austerity and Trump-era cruelty.”

“Since Trump’s election, progressives have known that defeating Trump’s politics of division would begin from the ground up in local elections. That came to fruition last night. We are excited to see so many first time candidates who won local elections from Norwalk to Willimantic and in between.”

CTWFP Election Highlights

  • Windham / Willimantic
    • Rose Reyes ran solely on the Working Families Party line and won her race for Windham, earning 715 votes. Reyes won with a margin of 286 votes over the defeated incumbent, marking the first time a WFP only candidate has won a seat on the Town Council. This is a tremendous result, signaling strength in a region where we intend to grow.
    • Notably, Rose is a bilingual educator who helped lead the sanctuary city movement in Windham. That resolution passed shortly before Trump’s inauguration, becoming an early highlight of local resistance. The incumbent she defeated is the only incumbent up for election this year who voted no on the resolution.
      • Reyes is one of many first-time candidates to win yesterday.
    • WFP cross-endorsed candidates, Victor Funderburk for Mayor and Dawn Niles for Town Council, also won. In Victor’s race, the WFP line is what pushed him over the line. It was a WFP sweep.
  • Hartford
    • Shontá Browdy has won election to the Hartford Board of Education with approximately 1,041 votes. Browdy won with 512 votes over the Republican opponent, winning by a huge margin and holding onto the seat previously held by Working Families Party Board of Education Member Robert Cotto, Jr.
      • Browdy is also a first-time candidate.
  • Bridgeport
    • Joseph Sokolovic ran for a Board of Education seat as a cross-endorsed Republican. Sokolovic won with approximately 1,626 votes.
    • Howard Gardner ran WFP-only for Board of Education. His race is up for a mandatory recount after receiving 1,128 votes, just 15 votes short of his opponent.
      • This victory shortly follows the formation of the Bridgeport Working Families Town Committee earlier this year. We look forward to continuing to build momentum in the city.
  • Norwalk
    • Norwalk was a near-sweep, with 17 of our 18 endorsed candidates winning. It was a dramatic showing for the city, including the re-election of Mayor Harry Rilling.
  • New Haven
    • Sarah Ganong ran WFP only in the New Haven mayoral race with the stated goal of achieving 1% of the vote to give WFP ballot access for generations of progressive candidates to come. The excitement in New Haven was already palpable, ever since the founding of the Greater New Haven WFP Chapter in December. That excitement took to the polls, with Sarah earning 870 votes – almost 8%. We look forward to big things in New Haven in years to come.
  • New London
    • Alisha Blake ran WFP only and is WFP’s first municipal candidate in New London. She fell short of winning, but brought WFP to her city in a big way, with 943 votes. Through Blake, WFP now has full ballot access for future New London elections and looks forward to a bright future in the city. Alisha and her campaign staff are a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of WFP’s candidate recruitment and training programs, creating a significant impact in a city previously lacking a WFP presence.
      • Blake is also a first-time candidate.

Trumpism in Wilton

A strong case of voter repudiation of Trumpism happened last night in Wilton.

Wilton provides a strong case for voter rejection of Trump-era racist politics. After Republican BoE candidate Andrea Preston’s insensitive, hurtful, and ignorant Facebook posts were publicly exposed, the Wilton Republican Town Committee issued a defense, claiming the posts were “unauthenticated.” Preston later acknowledged that the posts were indeed hers. The RTC did not issue any further comment at the time, nor did they disavow Preston’s divisive views.

CT Working Families quickly mobilized to inform Wilton voters encouraging them to keep Preston out of office. She lost dramatically, demonstrating a clear rejection of Trumpism at the local level.

Preston came 4th out of 4 BoE candidates, losing to both Democrats and falling nearly 1,000 votes behind her Republican running mate. Here is the tally:

  • Deborah Low (D) 2847
  • Gretchen Jeanes (D) 2420
  • Andrea D. Preston (R) 1540
  • Glenn Hemmerle (R) 2468

###

The Connecticut Working Families Party is a grassroots political organization that fights for economic and racial justice. The WFP is training and electing the next generation of progressive leaders to office, and fighting for and winning public policies that make a difference in the lives of working people, from raising the minimum wage to increasing funding for public education, to combating climate change, to reforming policing practices and diminishing the influence of big money in politics.