Results of yesterday’s election — filed with the Secretary of the State — show just how tight the selectman’s race was.
Jennifer Tooker and running mate Andrea Moore edged Jonathan Steinberg and Candice Savin 4,237 votes to 4,168. The winning Republican ticket had 50.03% of the vote, to the Democrats’ 49.21.
Libertarians TJ Elgin and Louis D’Onofrio garnered just 64 votes (0.76%).
But Elgin may become Westport’s 3rd selectman.
Steinberg — currently in his 6th term as a state representative — has declined the 3rd selectman’s position. By statute — and long Westport tradition — it goes to the candidate for 1st selectman who places second in the voting.
Steinberg chairs the legislature’s Public Health Committee, and serves on the Transportation, and Energy and Technology, Committees too.
He told Westport Journal this afternoon that he does not want to be a “third wheel” on the 3-person selectmen board.
Elgin believes that the 3rd selectman position should not go to Savin — Steinberg’s running mate — but rather to him.
The town charter says: “The defeated candidate for First Selectman having the highest number of votes shall be elected a Selectman.” Elgin contends that because Savin was not a candidate for first selectman, he should be next in line for the post.
Assistant town attorney Eileen Lavigne Flug says, however, that there is only one second place candidate for first selectman: Steinberg. If he declines the post, Flug said, Tooker and Moore must appoint a Democrat to replace him.
Meanwhile, Democrats led in all other races. The results:
Board of Education (contested)
Party-endorsed Democrats Kevin Christie (5,097 votes) and Christina Torres (5,177) and Republicans Robert Harrington (3,850) and Dorie Hordon (3,913) will form a newcomers’ majority on the 7-person board. Write-in candidate Alma Sarelli received 130 votes, and was not elected.
Planning and Zoning Commission (contested)
Democratic incumbents (and Save Westport Now-endorsed Danielle Dobin (5.396), Michael Cammeyer (5,095) and Neil Cohn (4,923) return to office. Republican Jack Whittle (3,368) failed in his bid to recapture his old seat. Coalition for Westport candidate Ron Corwin (786) also lost.
Board of Finance (uncontested)
Democratic incumbents Brian Stern (5,207 votes) and Lee Caney (4,950) will be joined by Republican Michael Keller (4,100).
Board of Assessment Appeals (contested)
Democrats Lynette Pineda (4,547) and Heseyl Gayle (4,446) were elected. Republican Town Committee chair Joseph Sledge (3,470) lost.
Zoning Board of Appeals (uncontested)
Josh Newman and Amy Wistreich were elected.
Representative Town Meeting
Three districts had contested races.
In District 1, Liz Milwe (436), Matthew Mandell (360), Chris Tait (337) and Kristin Mott Purcell (277) won. Abby Tolan (253) and Rick Jaffe (228) lost.
In District 3, Jimmy Izzo (403), Mark Friedman, Don O’Day (35) and Arline Gertzoff (328) won. Ross Burkhardt (252) lost.
In District 9, Kristin Schneeman (427), Nancy Kail (401), Sal Liccione (347) an Lori Church 9343) won. Clark Thiemann (315) and Marla Cowden (300) lost.
Winners in the uncontested districts:
2: Joy Keenan, Harris Falk, Louis Mall, Christine Meiers Schatz.
4: Andrew Colabella, James Bairaktaris, Noah Hammond, Jeffrey Wieser.
5: Peter Gold, Dick Lowenstein, Karen Kramer, Claudia Shaum
6: Candace Banks, Beth Braunstein, Jessica Bram, Cathy Talmadge
7: Brandi Briggs, Jack Klinge, Ellen Lautenberg, Lauren Karpf.
8: Wendy Goldwyn Batteau, Lisa Newman, Stephen Shackelford, Rachel Steel Cohn.
The Democratic Town Committee issued this statement earlier today: “The Westport Democratic Town Committee congratulates Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore on their election as Westport’s next first and second selectmen. Their success is Westport’s success. We look forward to working together to keep Westport the vibrant and welcoming place that we all cherish.”