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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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New Canaan's Republicans maintain council seats

Updated 3:56 pm, Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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  • In unofficial results Tuesday, Republicans Penny Young, an incumbent, and Bill Walbert, a newcomer, have been elected to the New Canaan Town Council.
Tyler Woods/Staff photo Photo: Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    In unofficial results Tuesday, Republicans Penny Young, an incumbent, and Bill Walbert, a newcomer, have been elected to the New Canaan Town Council. Tyler Woods/Staff photo Photo: Contributed

 

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Tuesday's municipal election resulted in a big win for the Republicans, who did not surrender any of its Town Council seats.

Republican incumbent John Engel received the most votes, with 1,960, according to the unofficial results. He was followed by newcomer Kevin Moynihan, who received 1,943; first-time candidate William Walbert, who received 1,942; and incumbent Penny Young, who received 1,823.

Democratic newcomers Kathleen Corbet and Sven Englund received 1,643 and 1,414 votes, respectively, rounding out the six open seats on the council.

Poll workers finished counting around 8:30 p.m., just a half hour after the last voter cast the last ballot. This year, 3,481 ballots were cast for a turnout of 27 percent. That's up from 2,977 ballots in the last municipal election, which was in 2011.

"I'm looking forward to doing less talking and more listening," Walbert said, shortly after learning of the results. Walbert, Young, councilman Tucker Murphy had crowded over a sheet of paper fellow councilman Ken Campbell had gotten with an unofficial vote count while the group was in the New Canaan High School gym around 8:30 p.m.

Moynihan was at an Exchange Club meeting as the results were coming in, getting information texted to him from Campbell.

"I'm very pleased. It's a good result for the town. The analysis will be interesting. It seems that incumbency has a certain respect," Moynihan, said.

Afterward, Young and the rest of the Republicans headed to the Roger Sherman Inn on Oenoke Ridge for a victory party. In the darkened bar of the restaurant, election coverage played on televisions mounted on the walls, while a who's who of the New Canaan Republican party schmoozed and celebrated.

"I'm looking forward to another four years serving the community," Young said at the Roger Sherman. "I'm looking forward to putting my energy and commitment to solutions."

Down on Main Street, the Democrats celebrated in a campaign office rented a few weeks before the election.

Corbet, former interim town finance director, led the Democrats.

"I'm excited to have run a great race with terrific colleagues," she said. "It's a real honor to be able to serve New Canaan."

Entering the political arena for the first time, Englund took time away from the homemade guacamole to say how grateful he was to the voters.

"I'm very excited for the term. I feel gratitude for the people here and also for the people not here. There were a lot of people outside the Democrats who helped me with this," he said.

He ended with a bit of reflection: "Listen and you'll be educated."

Fellow first-time candidate and Democrat Jeanne F. Rozel received 1,285 votes.

"I did enjoy it. I enjoyed all these people who I probably would not have met before. I think Sven is going to be fantastic and Kathleen is going to make a fantastic contribution," she said.

Petitioning candidate Roy A. Abramowitz received 542 votes, but said he felt that he'd gotten the points he wanted to make into the discussion.

"I knew I would not win from the start. I pursued running as a petitioning candidate so that the system of electing candidates would change and the pertinent issues would be brought out and properly debated," he said. "I am disappointed, however, that the electorate did not weigh how candidates performed in the debate or hold the incumbent responsible for the flawed accounting system, budget improprieties, misspending and lack of civility."

The new council will be seated at its Nov. 20 meeting, when new leadership will be chosen.

twoods@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6582; @Woods_NCNews