By KAITLYN NAPLES
Bristol has a new mayor, and a City Council that now is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
Republican mayoral candidate Ken Cockayne was elected to fill the city’s top job last Tuesday, beating Democratic candidate Chris Wilson.
According to unofficial results, Cockayne received 5,646 votes, or nearly 52 percent of the votes submitted. Wilson received 5,239, or 48 percent of the votes.
“It feels great, it is an exciting time,” Cockayne said Tuesday night at his victory party at Nuchies. “It was a great campaign, it felt long but we stayed on point, we stayed positive and the voters saw that.”
Mayor Art Ward congratulated the Republicans Tuesday night, and said “you have a tremendous win” here. Ward said while he and Ken have shared their differences, “Ken goes for what he believes is right (and is his own man)… Bristol is going to be that much better,” Ward said.
On the City Council, Republican incumbent Eric Carlson was able to keep his seat in District 1 with 2,170 votes. He will be joining newcomer Democrat Calvin Brown, who received the most votes in the district with 2,304. Carlson said he was excited to be re-elected at the Republican’s victory part last week. Carlson and Brown defeated Republican candidate Thomas Hick, who received 1,757 votes, and Democrat Stephen Jeffries who received 1,775.
In the second District, Republican incumbent Henri Martin was re-elected and is joining Republican Rich Miecznikowski, the former longtime chair of the Board of Finance. Martin received 2,337 votes, and Miecznikowski received 2,222. Miecznikowski said Tuesday night that he was looking forward to beginning his work on the council.
Martin and Miecznikowski defeated Democrats Bob Vojtek, who received 1,273 votes, Allen Marko, who received 1,023 votes, and petitioning candidate Frank Kramer who received 326 votes.
After Tuesday’s election, District 3 will be unique in that there will be two women who will be serving the district, who are both Democrats. Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, who has served on the council in the past, won a seat with 1,630 votes, and will be joined by newcomer Mary Fortier, who received 1,555 votes. The two women defeated Republican incumbent Derek Czenczelewski, who received 1,354 votes, and Republican James Albert, who received 1,335 votes.
There were three other races in addition to the council and mayor races. The Board of Assessment Appeals will welcome Republicans Mary Alford, receiving 5,819 votes, and Stacey Raymond, who received 4,811 votes, and also Democrat Shirley Salvatore, who received 4,581. The three women defeated Democrat Richard Harlow, who received 4,066 and petitioning candidate Dominic Pasquale Jr., who received 1,025.
This year is the last year for the position of Constables to be an elected position, and Democrat Sarah Sullivan, who received 5,188 votes, and Democrat Kate Matthews who received 5,286 were elected to the position. Also elected were Republicans Joseph Geladino, who received 4,823 votes, Joel Boutwell, who received 4,512, Timothy Lee Ceritello, who received 4,312 and Democrat Joella Bouchard Mudry, who received 4,465.
Another race was for the seat of the city Treasurer. Republican incumbent Thomas Barnes Jr., won that seat with 6,139 votes, defeating Democrat Sandra Stafford who received 4,354.
In Tuesday’s election, all three charter revision questions passed. The first asked whether or not there should be term limits for the mayor, City Council, and Board of Education. This question was favored by a landslide, with 7,537 checking “yes,” and 2,094 saying “no.” Now that this is approved, the mayor and city council will be limited to four successive two-year terms, meaning these elected officials can only serve for eight years in a row. Board of Education member will only be allowed to serve for two successive four-year terms, meaning also they can only serve for eight years in a row.
Another charter revision question that passed was eliminating the elected office of constables from the charter. These now will be appointed positions.
All of these numbers were provided by the Bristol Registrar of Voters office, and are preliminary numbers deemed unofficial until they are approved by the state.
By KAITLYN NAPLES