November 7, 2009

GOP had a good year the polls

It’s been almost two decades since the Republicans held more of the city’s top political offices than they captured this year.

“This is wonderful,” city GOP Chairman T.J. Barnes told party faithful as the results poured in after the polls closed on Election Day.

“We’ve come a long way,” Barnes added.

The Republicans hold two of the six City Council seats and, for the first time in three decades, also grabbed the part-time treasurer’s post.

It doesn’t appear, though, that the GOP’s success at the polls will translate into greater partisanship at City Hall.

On Election Night, Democratic Mayor Art Ward stood in front of a roomful of party activists and hailed mayoral challenger Mary Alford and several other Republicans for running so clean a campaign and focusing on how to improve the city rather than scoring political points.

“We need to join hands,” Ward said. “We need to work together.”

The most successful council candidate, Republican newcomer David Mills, has frequently said that party lines don’t matter to him. He said he’s ready to work with anyone to get the city on track for a brighter future.

Since Mills easily outpolled Ward and every other Democrat in the three precincts where he was on the ballot, it’s clear to political insiders that he pulled in a lot of votes from registered Democrats. With his outsized victory, Mills instantly became the GOP’s best hope for winning back the mayor’s office as well.

The Republicans have held two council seats for the past two years, with Ken Cockayne and Mike Rimcoski provided the GOP’s firepower.

Rimcoski was the lone Republican for two years before that, taking the seat that Ron Burns held for a single term when he was the sole GOP councilor. But from 2005 until 2007, Republican William Stortz was the mayor so Rimcoski wasn’t left to face down the Democrats by himself.

From 1997, when Stretch Norton lost a reelection bid, until 2003, the Democrats held every office possible at City Hall. Norton had been the only Republican councilor from 1993 until 1997.

Not since the 1991 election, during Stortz’s first stint as mayor, has the GOP managed to grab a majority on the council, but the Republicans see hope that they might be able to do it again someday.

In addition to the prospect of Mills at the top of the ticket, the party sees at least two of its council losers, Derek Czenczelewski and Richard Scarola, as possible contenders for the job next time around.

“Derek represents the future of our party,” Barnes said of the 22-year-old who impressed even Democrats with his issues-based campaign.

The candidates elected last week will take office in a swearing-in ceremony at 7 p.m. Monday in the auditorium at Bristol Eastern High School. The public is invited. A reception will follow in the school’s cafeteria.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Could have had a majority: Ward was beatable.

All candidates should have gotten mnore help from the Town Committee.

Treasurers office not involved in policy.

Ward will use whoever he can, whoever he has to.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh, Kenny's not going to be happy if Mills takes away his spotlight!

Anonymous said...

Ward wasn't beatable, and horray for the GOP positioning themselves well for 2011. If they had a majority, or even took over the Mayor's office, they would be total scapegoats for the drastic cutting that will need to occur over the last 2 years.

Overall I think this shows that the Republican's are still somewhat relevant in Bristol. Additionally I think most of the candidates got all of the help they asked for from the RTC. Candidates need to assemble quality organizations behind them if they wish to win. Dave Mills is a perfect example.

Odin said...

In a city where registered Dems outnumber registered GOP's 41% to 16%, Ward ought to have been unbeatable. But the fact that Alford did so well among independent voters shows that Ward's lack of a message, vision, call it what you will, does not sit well with a lot of folks in Bristol.

Embarrassed for you said...

"Ward ought to have been unbeatable."

He was! Had all the eligible voters actually gotten off their duffs and voted, it probably would have been a landslide. I think many were complacent and figured that Ward would win, and that was just fine with them. The ONLY group of voters that were actually driven to vote were the anti-Ward crew, and they lost anyway.

Anonymous said...

Mills may have won the popularity contest vote, but the next 2 years will determine if he can cut the mustard.

Anonymous said...


Until a few months ago, Mills was a Dem.

Does that tell you something?

Anonymous said...

Throughout the state the GOP gained ground: in Bristol, they didn't even come close to beating a very vulnerable mayor.

While a Republican Treasurer was elected, the policy making aspect did not change, and that can charged to a very weak campaign by the party over the past two years.

Unfortunately, I don't see any improvement in the future either.

Maybe it is time to change the Republican leadership!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chairman, just four years ago, your candidate for mayor got over twice a smany votes as your candidate this year. You call that having a good year this year?

Back to the basics: a good candidate, knowledge of the issues, involement.

Is that so hard to do?

Anonymous said...

Winds of change...

digger said...

ward was beatable but wasn't, Alford could've won but didn't - trash it any way that you want but the reality of the matter is it won't make a difference to any one other than your own wimpy " monday morning quarterback" selves. Groove-on rather than traveling in the political rut that you continue to dig deeper and deeper.

Anonymous said...

Stop it Stortz...You will Never, Ever again be the Republican nominee for Mayor of Bristol.

The Republicans will Never ever agin subject our city to your narastic ways.

A vote of no confidence because you lied to the City Council is not the kind of Mayor we need.

You would not have won in 2007 You would not have won in 2009 and you will not win in 2011 even if the Dems were too nominate Micky Mouse.

You are a has been, You are a disgrace to the City of Bristol, the Republican Party and most of all you are a disgrace to yourself.

You are a lenged in your own mind, and quite frankly there isn't enough of a mind left to really worry about.
No one cares what you once cares what you think and quite frankly no one cares about you.

Go away and as they say:

"Good Bye and Good Riddance" Do the honorable thing and become a Democrat!

I'm sure they will welcome you with open arms!

Anonymous said...

Parente joins good company as the only other Republican to win a major citywide office in the past twenty plus years in addition to Bill Stortz
Way to go Rose.

Anonymous said...


I tried to look it up, couldn;t find it.

What is narastic???

brain-dead, pull the plug said...

9:00am - history dictates that if stortz ever wants to win again, he should become a democrat because you gop misfits haven't produced any mayors since stortz - stop over compensating for your own lack of ability to think about the people.
At best, you would be a number 12 draft choice out of a possible 5 candidates - nerd.

Anonymous said...


I get a kick out of how you, and maybe a few paranoid others, keep attacking stortz.
If you spent half as much time and effort attacking Ward, maybe you wouldn't continue to be the big losers you are.

Frankly, I thought Stortz did a good job.

Anonymous said...

Lombardi was right:
Winning isn't everything, it is the only thing.

Anonymous said...

Are they going to widen the doors at city hall so Ward can get into work, with he big ego head?

Embarrassed for you said...

"...with he big ego head?"

Yah, you just gotta hate he big ego head. (What a putz!)

Ward's head size appears to be just fine (no door widening necessary), but with such a childish, stupid comment, maybe you should consider taking a smaller hat size? ;0)

Anonymous said...

Scarola: If you run again be prepared for war.

Anonymous said...

9:17am seems someone hit a nerve with you.

Anonymous said...

10:27 AM: Nah, it's just fun to taunt the monkeys! It's sooooooo easy!

Anonymous said...

12:49 I am sure you know alot about monkeys, becasue you are a big ape.

Anonymous said...

Ward grow up.

King Kong said...

6:45, Me - not Ward. You - still a putz!

Anonymous said...

You should know by now what jerks are supposed to be running this party !

Anonymous said...

I ask, what would constitute a bad year?

I thought that the goal was to win.

Anything less is failure.

Anonymous said...

If Derick turns out like the rest of you including Barnes your future is pretty dim. I don't want to have clowns like you partisan bobble heads!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Republicans have crawled back into the woodwork, again.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Boy

There is Winning and there is losing.

There is NOTHING in between!!!