Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti said he expected to win big Tuesday.
“But not this big,” Cassetti said after learning voters had returned him to office by a margin of nearly four to one over the challenger, Democrat Edward Adamowski.
Cassetti took 3,095 votes citywide to Adamowski’s 803, according to official results.
By comparison, when he was first elected in 2013, Cassetti beat incumbent Democrat James Della Volpe by a margin of 2,456 to 1,741.
The Republicans rode the mayor’s coattails to take every seat they contested on the Board of Aldermen, where they will now have a 12-2 majority.
Going into the election the GOP had a 10-4 advantage on the board.
Elsewhere, Republican nominee Janet Vitarius Waugh won the clerk’s office from Democrat incumbent Elizabeth Lynch in the narrowest citywide race, and Judy Larkin-Nicolari retained the city treasurer’s office, defeating Democrat Tara Kolakowski.
Cassetti entered his election headquarters on Main Street shortly after 8 p.m. cheered on by three dozen or so supporters.
The mood was confident, but there was still anxiety — Republicans focused an intensive get out the vote effort Tuesday, particularly in the Second Ward, where Democrats outnumber them 422-171.
But the nervousness soon evaporated as the numbers began to come in — showing a Republican landslide.
In the First Ward, which Adamowski represented as an Alderman for the past six years, Cassetti took 404 votes to Adamowski’s 113.
“That’s his home ward!” the mayor shouted as campaign volunteer Kenneth Plavnicky wrote the numbers on a whiteboard.
The results didn’t get any more encouraging for the Democrats.
GOPers were soon shouting “Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!” with every new set of numbers.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. Within 36 minutes, Adamowski had walked from his headquarters on East Main Street to congratulate Cassetti.
Article continues after video.
“I’m sure you’ll do a great job,” Adamowski said, raising Cassetti’s right arm in the air.
At Democratic headquarters, the mood had quickly gone from boisterous to somber as results trickled in.
As the scope of the defeat sank in many gasped as the numbers were read and written on a bulletin board for all to see.
Others choked back tears — and muttered a few swear words — as the magnitude of the defeat became apparent.
Adamowski tried to lift the spirits of his supporters during a concession speech.
“It didn’t go in our favor,” Adamowski, who also serves as the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, said. “But I am not going to give up on this group. We did a real good job.
“We followed our plan,” Adamowski went on. “We ran a real good campaign.”
Article continues after video of Adamowski speaking to supporters.
In off the cuff remarks to about 60 supporters, Cassetti said his victory Tuesday was inspired by his 90-year-old mother.
“She told me ‘Be a straight shooter, be honest and don’t make promises you can’t keep. And be determined,’” Cassetti said.
The mayor said he took his mother’s advice to take the New England middleweight boxing championship, start his own business, and now become mayor “of the greatest city in Connecticut.”
“I thank the voters of Ansonia for having faith in me,” Cassetti said. “I will not let you down.”
Article continues after video.
Afterward, the mayor said Tuesday’s big win was satisfying after getting an enthusiastic reception while canvassing the city for votes.
“I hit 2,400 homes, I talked to many homeowners, and they wanted to keep what they currently have,” Cassetti said. “They were very satisfied over everything in the last two years.”
The mayor’s campaign manager, John Marini, a former Alderman who also serves as the city’s corporation counsel, characterized Tuesday’s win as a “wipeout.”
“We put the work in,” Marini said. “We identified voters, we went door to door and we had a great team that really cares about the city.”
Cassetti said his first priorities for his second term will include moving forward with the redevelopment of two city-owned eyesores downtown.
He also said he wants to look into the possible purchase of a strip mall at the corner of Olson Drive and Maple Street, with an eye toward relocating the Senior Center there.
Besides Adamowski, who did not seek re-election to his First Ward Alderman’s seat, Anthony DeLucia, an incumbent Fourth Ward Alderman running for a new seat in the Sixth Ward, lost to Republican incumbents Patrick Henri and Matthew Edo.
The only Democratic Aldermen left in Ansonia — Joseph Jeanette Jr. and Denice Hunt — represent the Third Ward. Republicans didn’t run any candidates there, though 383 ballots in the Third had no votes for Aldermen’s races, which outnumbered the totals for both Democrats.
The new Republican Aldermen are Randolph Carroll in the First Ward and Ashley Rogers in the Fourth Ward.
After conceding to Cassetti, Adamowski said the Dems have their work cut out for them.
“It’s just a matter of people believing things, and unfortunately that’s the way this game goes,” Adamowski said.
Will he be running for the Board of Aldermen in two years?
“No,” Adamowski said.
Turnout in the race was 48 percent. Of the 8,111 voters registered in Ansonia, 3,913 voted Tuesday. The registrars of voters also issued 19 election day registration ballots.
OFFICIAL results are below. An X next to a name denotes a winner.
Edward Adamowski (Dem.) 803
David Cassetti (Rep.) 3,095 X
Board of Aldermen
Peter Marcinko (Dem.) 165
Brittany Shortell (Dem.) 191
Charlie Stowe (Rep.) 315 X
Randolph Carroll (Rep.) 320 X
Shain Edmonds (Dem.) 153
Chellana Terrell (Dem.) 100
Lorie Vaccaro (Rep.) 324 X
Philip Tripp (Rep.) 335 X
Joseph Jeanette Jr. (Dem.) 234 X
Denice Hunt (Dem.) 239 X
Florence Camilleri (Dem.) 85
Annmarie Caporale (Dem.) 88
Richard Kaslaitis (Rep.) 124 X
Ashley Rogers (Rep.) 128 X
Jeffrey Gould (Dem.) 115
Milagros Rios (Dem.) 113
Joan Radin (Rep.) 355 X
Anthony Cassetti (Rep.) 326 X
Anthony DeLucia (Dem.) 184
Karl Williams (Dem.) 205
Matthew Edo (Rep.) 567 X
Patrick Henri (Rep.) 624 X
Saleh Hanaif (Dem.) 220
David Knapp (Dem.) 341
David Blackwell Jr. (Rep.) 673 X
Frank DeLibero (Rep.) 598 X
Town And City Clerk
Elizabeth Lynch (Dem.) 1,562
Janet Vitarius Waugh (Rep.) 2,118 X
Tara Kolakowski (Dem.) 1,160
Judy Larkin-Nicolari (Rep.) 2,634 X
Board of Education
Christopher Phipps (Dem.) 1,326 X
Carmen Pitney Sr. (Dem.) 1,355 X
Bill Nimons (Rep.) 2,440 X
John Izzo (Rep.) 2,265 X
Sean Rowley (Dem.) 1,727 X
Louis Macero (Dem.) 1,391 X
Daniel King (Rep.) 2,161 X
Roy Tidmarsh (Rep.) 2,697 X
Peter Gujski (Rep.) 2,109 X