Thursday, March 6, 2008

Some challengers will take seats on Democratic Town Committee

By Maria Garriga
Register Staff
— Challengers upset incumbents in several Democratic Town Committee ward races Tuesday.
“This is the opportunity to elect people you know and who you can influence in your neighborhood,” said Susie Voigt, chairwoman of the Democratic Town Committee. “I look forward to working with these new chairmen if I have the privilege of serving as committee chairman again. No matter who they voted for today, people really want a Democratic president in November.”
Candidates from the seven ward races for co-chairman seats on the 60-member committee milled about the room with excitement hours before the count could even begin.
In the 10th Ward, challengers Kevin P. Donahue and Raymond J. Saracco Jr. narrowly defeated incumbents Sabrina F. Bruno and Debra P. Hauser by votes of 195 and 197 to 192 and 182 respectively.
In the 11th Ward, challengers Patricia L. DePalma and Robert Lee beat incumbents Adelaide DelFranco and Rose Sorrentino, by 132 and 147 to 114 and 123 votes respectively.
In the 12th Ward Tina Jendrzewski and George F. Page Sr. defeated Lynda D. McMillen and incumbent Anna M. Simeone, by votes of 119 and 117 to 97 and 105, respectively.
In the 14th Ward incumbents Joan A. Forte and Rafael R. Ramos easily beat challenger Nelson Cruz, by votes of 192 and 163 to 134 respectively.
In Ward 22 incumbent Gina Phillips held on to her seat, while challenger Cordelia V. Thorpe will be a new Democratic co-Chairwoman after defeating Levone Gilbert II by a vote 62 to 87 to 54 respectively.
In the 25th Ward, Barbara B. Segaloff and Anthony A. Wallace handily defeated Mary E. Faulkner and Timothy C. Holahan, with votes tallying 312 and 298 to 254 and 271, respectively.
In the 30th Ward, challenger Virlinda L. Billups won the seat held by Michelle Edmonds-Sepulveda but Honda Smith held on to her seat with votes of 83 to 72 and 116 for Smith.
“It’s always good to have a primary,” said Forte, incumbent co-chairwoman in the 14th Ward for 16 years. “I love Nelson (Cruz). He’s a gentleman and sweet. We’re like Obama and Clinton. This is what you call the Super Tuesday of Fair Haven. We’re the grass-roots people and we’re having fun.”
“We’re all friends here,” Cruz said.
Maria Garriga can be reached at or 789-5726.

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