Nancy Rossi Elected Mayor Of West Haven

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Glenn Rohrbacker, Editor in Chief

Updated 11/8/17 at 9:29 a.m. to include result statistics.

Democrat Nancy Rossi was declared winner of West Haven’s mayoral election Tuesday night. Rossi won after a long and contentious campaign with the two other candidates, current mayor, Democrat Ed O’Brien and Republican Dave Riccio.

The results were called around 8:30 p.m. with Rossi addressing supporters. As of early Wednesday morning, results on the secretary of state’s website showed Rossi winning with 45.28 percent of the vote.

At her headquarters Tuesday night in West Haven, Rossi gave credit to hard work and, with her grandson by her side, said she felt confident in her chances.

“I thank each and every one of you for all the time that you spent down here away from your families to help me achieve a goal for West Haven, and we’re going to make West Haven a different place,” she said.

Rossi defeated O’Brien in the Democratic primary in September by a small margin, prompting the incumbent mayor to launch a write-in campaign for his reelection. Riccio is the minority leader on the city council and has served on and off for four decades.

In a face-to-face with O’Brien after the results came in, Rossi expressed a need to work together.

“Like I said…all the other council people that didn’t support me, that’s fine, you know, election is over, we work together,” she said. “We do what West Haven wants.”

O’Brien was able to get 30.64 percent of the vote, having over 3,200 people write in his name. Riccio received 24.05 percent of the vote, in a town with only 11 percent of voters registered as Republican, according to last year’s election statistics.

In a round of interviews conducted by the Charger Bulletin by each candidate, Rossi spoke mainly about financial issues, expressing a need for budget tightening and increased development. She also expressed an interest in continuing the Mayor’s Advisory Commission, among other ideas for getting students involved in the city government.

The three candidates spoke at two debates this season. One was held at West Haven High School, and a much more sedated forum was held at the University of New Haven. The conversation surrounded mainly fiscal concerns, with the forum on campus focused more toward student issues.

Rossi will be inaugurated on December 1.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reported that results were called around 8:45.