Long-time Republican city Councilor Mike Rimcoski fell short in his reelection bid Tuesday.
"The time has come to move aside," Rimcoski said, and begin checking off items from his wife’s lengthy to-do list.
But the GOP made up for his defeat by propelling retired football coach David Mills to a 3rd District seat with the highest vote totals of any council contender.
Two other newcomers will also join the six-person council -- Democrats Kevin Fuller and Kate Matthews.
Incumbents Cliff Block, Kevin McCauley and Ken Cockayne won reelection by wide margins. Block and McCauley are Democrats. Cockayne is a Republican.
"Mad Dog’s still alive," shouted Henry Raymond, a GOP official, when the numbers showed that Cockayne would return for a second two-year term on the council.
Cockayne said his win showed that "people want someone who will talk for them and fight for them."
So while half the council will be newcomers when it takes office next week, the party breakdown will remain four Democrats and two Republicans.
Mills said that three months ago, he had no intention of seeking office.
But he plunged into the race anyway.
"I just hope it works out," Mills said. "We need to pull this city together and get things to work."
Fuller, who captured Rimcoski’s 1st District seat, said he is "very excited" that his work paid off at the polls.
"Now the fun begins," Fuller said. "Let’s all work together to make Bristol better."
Matthews, who took one of the two open 3rd District seats, said she is "ready to get to work."
"It was a great day," she said. "I’m happy."
Democrat Kevin McCauley, the senior councilor, said his large margin of victory is an endorsement of his focus on code enforcement efforts.
"It kind of reinvigorates me," McCauley said.
Block said he felt humbled by his tally and sorry for Rimcoski, whom he called "a gentleman and a friend."
Those who fell short had a harder time.
"It’s difficult, but the sun will rise tomorrow," said Democrat Terry Parker, who fell well short of Mill’s total in the 3rd District.
Ex-Marine Richard Scarola, one of the GOP’s 2nd District contenders, said he "came out of nowhere" to run and while he has to fall back this time, he’s not retreating.
Derek Czenczelewski, a Republican in the 3rd District, thanked party leaders "for giving me a shot to run as a 22-year-old unknown."
He said the race was worth it because he "met a lot of great people."
Allen Marko, a 2nd District Democrat, said he enjoyed the experience.
"Winning Miss Congeniality isn’t that bad," Marko said.
Unofficial results show that in the 1st District, Block got 1,697 votes while Fuller hauled in 1,659. Rimcoski had 1,520 and Eldianne Bishop got 921.
In the 2nd District, McCauley got 1,713, Cockayne 1,680, Marko 1,084 and Scarola 1,059.
In the 3rd District, Mills collected 1,756 votes, Matthews 1,424, Parker 1,249 and Czenczelewski 1,105.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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