Readers Choose The Top Valley Stories Of 2017

The Naugatuck Valley Young Democrats emerging as a new political force in the Valley was the top local story of the year, according to 123 people who voted in a Valley Indy year-end poll.

The poll was posted on The Valley Indy’s website Dec. 12.

Readers had 17 stories to choose from, and had to vote for one.

It was not a scientific poll. People were not able to vote from the same computer twice.

The Naugatuck Valley Young Democrats received 32.5 percent of the votes cast in the online poll.

The young Dems helped Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto fend off a primary challenge from Carmen DiCenso in September.

However, Dugatto, a two-term incumbent, then lost the general election to Rich Dziekan, the Republican candidate.

DiCenso is now working part-time for Dziekan’s administration as an economic development liaison.

The Democrats outnumber GOP’ers in Derby, but the Republicans now control the mayor’s office, the Board of Aldermen, the Board of Education, and continue to have a majority on the Board of Taxation and Apportionment.

Nevertheless, emerging group said they’re looking toward the Valley’s future, of which Dems will play an important part.

The video below shows DiCenso congratulating Dugatto on her primary night win.


Local Republicans did very well in Ansonia, too.

Mayor Cassetti’s big re-election win received the second-most votes in the online poll.

Cassetti and the Ansonia GOP cruised to an easy victory Nov. 6 over city Democrats. The win gave Cassetti his third term as Ansonia mayor.

Cassetti’s re-election received 21 percent of the vote in The Valley Indy poll.


Rich Dziekan’s election as Derby mayor came in third, with 9.7 percent of the online vote.

Dziekan looked like an underdog going into Election Day against two-term incumbent Mayor Anita Dugatto.

He had lost to her two years prior.

His campaign had less money than her campaign.

Dugatto brought in a hired gun to run her re-election operation who played a key role in turning the Derby Democratic Town Committee on its head after the majority of its members opted not to endorse Dugatto for a third term.

Dziekan’s campaign, meanwhile, had a manager who had never been involved in politics, let alone run a mayoral campaign.

Yet Dziekan won by 500 votes.


The poll’s complete results are posted below after the message from a sponsor:

This post is sponsored by the

There’s a new way to support important causes in the Valley. Visit the website for more info.


What will you be remembered for?

Adding a charity to your estate plan creates a legacy that tells future generations what causes mattered to you during your life.

Learn more at, an initiative of the Valley Community Foundation.

Plan now, give later, and impact tomorrow at



There were no comments