KILLINGWORTH – Democrat Eric Couture took a decisive victory for First Selectman Tuesday night earning enough votes to beat the combined total of his two Republican and Conservative party opponents.
According to the office of the Registrars of Voters, 2,172 people voted in the election, 44.63% of registered voters.
According to unofficial results from the Secretary of the State’s office, Couture received 1,117 votes, while Republican candidate Amy Roberts-Perry received 612, and Killingworth Conservative Party candidate John A. Samperi received 418.
“I think it goes to show how much people are putting into Democrat politicians these days,” Couture said. “Also, people recognize I’ve lived in this town my whole life. That forges connections that a lot of people appreciate.”
Couture said he is excited to begin as First Selectman and is looking forward to the challenges it presents.
“I have great people with me and behind me and we can address all the challenges together, Republican or Democrat,” he said.
He said the next session will start off strong with making new appointments and then diving into the budget.
“There’s some things in the pipeline with Planning and Zoning and working through positions with town government,” he said. “We’ll have to take things one step at a time.”
Being new to the Board of Selectmen, Couture said he plans to prove himself worthy of the role of First Selectman to both the people who voted for him and those who didn’t.
“It’s an act of trust to vote for somebody,” he said. “I want to govern all of Killingworth. That’s what’s on the forefront of my mind. I want to make sure to do a good job for everybody.”
For his opponents, Couture said they both ran good campaigns.
“I appreciate all the hard work they put in,” he said. “Just because we ran against each other doesn’t mean we’re enemies. It just means we have different views on how to run Killingworth. I wish them the best of luck and I hope to work with them in the future.”
Amy Roberts-Perry said she isn’t looking at any other political positions after her defeat.
“My message didn’t get out there or my message wasn’t good enough,” she said. “I continue to do the job I currently have, pay my bills as usual. As far as any other office, I’m not looking to do anything else. That was something I thought I was purely capable of doing and is in my backyard.”
Though she declined to comment on if the split vote between the Republican and Conservative parties cost her the election, she said that unifying the Republican and Conservative parties isn’t going to happen as long as Samperi continues to run for office.
“Unfortunately, we all know John Samperi,” she said. “He’s never going to change and that’s life in the big city. If people continue to follow him, then that’s where we are. If we don’t get a better message, then that’s where we are. John doesn’t win. He doesn’t care that he doesn’t win. All he likes is the attention. If you follow him at all, he loves being the center of attention. As long as he’s getting that he’s never going to change. He’ll be there until he decides not to. There’s nothing you or I can say to John Samperi.”
Samperi did not return efforts by the CT Examiner to contact him after election results came in Tuesday night.
Democrat Joel D’Angelo led votes for the Board of Selectmen, with 1,172 votes. Republican Eric Nunes received 888. The vote gives Democrats a 2 to 1 majority on the Board of Selectmen with Killingworth Conservative Party candidate Danyyil Spichko who ran on the Republican and Conservative party lines coming up a little behind Nunes with a combined 866 votes.
Three Board of Finance seats were open as well with Democrats retaining their 4 to 2 majority with Democrat William Kosturko receiving 1,083 votes, Democrat Marcel Couture receiving 1,056, and Republican Andrew J. O’Neill receiving 933.