GREENWICH – Republican First Selectman Fred Camillo handily won his race for first selectman and maintained Republican control over two key bodies – the Board of Selectmen and the finance board — bucking a statewide tide of Democratic gains on election night.
According to the Greenwich Registrar of Voters, Camillo beat Democratic challenger Laura Erickson by 3,744 votes, winning 58.6 percent of the votes compared to Erickson’s 39.7 percent.
In a Wednesday phone call with CT Examiner, Camillo thanked his supporters for the high turnout on Tuesday.
“It was a really, really strong showing by the people of Greenwich, and it looks like we broke our 2021 vote total record,” Camillo said “I’m really grateful for the support and the confidence that they’ve shown in me and my teammates.”
The town counts show a total of 19,812 votes in the first selectman’s race this year, compared to 16,598 in 2021 – a 19 percent increase in turnout.
Erickson earned 2,416 more votes than the 2021 Democratic challenger, William Kelly.
Asked to comment on the race, Erickson emailed CT Examiner late Wednesday morning to say:
“Going into this campaign, I was clear-eyed about my chances of upsetting a lifelong resident and two term First Selectman who has the pulpit as the current office holder. I did it anyway because voters deserve choice and there are many issues that aren’t being addressed properly or proactively based on my first hand experience these past four years on the BET.”
The Registrar’s counts also put Republicans in the lead for the Board of Selectmen, with Republican incumbent Lauren Rabin earning about 54 percent of the votes versus Democratic incumbent Janet Stone McGuigan’s 42 percent.
And while Democratic candidates for the Board of Estimate and Taxation were hoping to take control of the finance board, the Republican candidates won the majority.
While the BET is split by party with six Democrats and six Republicans, Greenwich elections determine which party can name the chair of the board, who has the authority to cast tie-breaking votes. Republicans have held the majority of the BET for all but two years over the last 90 years, and they continued that streak on Tuesday.
In a joint statement to CT Examiner, the Republican BET candidates – incumbents Leslie Tarkington, Nisha Arora, Harry Fisher and Karen Fassuliotis, and newcomers Lucia Jansen and David Alfano – thanked residents for their support, and looked forward to working with their Democratic counterparts.
“We thank our colleagues across the aisle for running a spirited campaign around ideas and issues. While we may sometimes have different perspectives on policy, we share a common goal to serve and strengthen our community,” they said. “BET Republicans remain committed to working collaboratively to make thoughtful decisions for the betterment of our Town.”
In a statement, the BET Democratic candidates – incumbents Leslie Moriaty, Stephen Selbst and David Weisbrod, and newcomers Elliot Alchek, Matt DesChamps and Scott Kalb – said they were “disappointed” by the results.
“We are disappointed to lose the election for the leadership of the Greenwich BET in a close race. Our message for a more community-focused and fiscally responsible financial board resonated with many voters,” Democrats said. “As we serve on the board over the next two years, we will continue to advocate for longer term planning and increased investment in our schools and infrastructure.”
This story has been updated to include comments by Erickson.