NEW LONDON, Conn. — In an historic contest, voters in New London, Conn., chose a political newcomer, openly gay attorney Daryl Justin Finizio as the city’s first elected mayor in nearly nine decades.
Finizio, a Democrat who had moved to New London 18 months ago from Waterford, Rhode Island, had shaken the Democratic party by winning its primary and then defeating five challengers, including three sitting city councilors.
Last November (2010) New London’s voters in a three to one margin, had voted to create a new form of the mayor’s public office by amending the City Charter.
Finizio will be the first elected mayor under the new charter’s provisions for the office.
The mayor-elect had run on the campaign slogan of “Change is coming to New London,” which, when asked by a reporter was just that, a slogan, Mayor-elect Finizio replied, “I want to be very clear, the era of machine politics in New London is over.”
According to the local newspaper The Day, hundreds of supporter who packed a second-floor banquet room at Dev’s on Bank restaurant erupted into applause and cheers upon hearing the mayor’s response.
The paper also reports that according to the city’s registrar of voters, Finizio won the New London mayoral race with 2,185 votes, defeating Michael Buscetto III’s 1,153 and Rob Pero’s 1,057.
As of 7 p.m., voter turnout in the city had exceeded that in 2009 — a total of 4,725 people had already voted in the historic election. This was close to 40 percent of the city’s 12,793 registered voters. Of that, 344 were absentee ballots.