State Republicans are claiming victory in yesterday's municipal elections. WNPR's Ray Hardman has more.
The GOP held on to 18 mayoral and first selectman seats yesterday, while adding 17 more, including Stamford, Norwich, Stratford, Trumbull, Darien, Monroe and Madison. Also several town councils, including New London, Wethersfield and Southington tipped from majority Democrat to Republican. State Republican chair Chris Healy has declared the GOP the majority party of Mainstreet Connecticut. He says the Republican victories are due to a host of factors:
"Many of the candidate we ran, if you look at them individually, even races where we were unsuccessful, we ran very competitive races. That's what it takes to become i think a competitive political organization, a party, you have to have good candidates, you have to have good operations, you have to have intensity and a message and in many of these races, if you look at them one on one, that's what we had and they didn't."
Healy says the Republican message of making communities more livable and affordable resonated with voters, and bodes well for Republican candidates in the 2010 elections:
"Success breeds success, i mean, i think if you look at the mayors that won re-election, most of them are very young and are doing some great things, but on the grassroots level, if you're involved in a campaign, whether you're trying to get someone elected to the school board or counsel race or a planning and zoning commission and you win, that builds an army of grassroots people that are essential to win an election."
Nancy DiNardo, the state Democratic chairwoman, says municipal campaigns often center on local issues. She conceded that people are looking for change because of the poor economy.
For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.