BRANFORD — The Republican Party held onto its majority on the Representative Town Meeting in Tuesday’s general election, but the Democratic Party appears to have picked up one seat, officials said Thursday.
That shifts the RTM balance to 17 Republicans and 13 Democrats, from 18 and 12, respectively, the past two years, said RTM member and Assistant Democratic Town Chairman Tom Brockett, D-7.
“They picked up one seat,” said RTM member and Republican Town Chairman Ray Ingraham, R-5.
There also were several other Democrat gains in other races.
“Things tightened up a bit this year,” said Ingraham. “The only surprise to me was where we lost the (RTM) seat — the 7th District, Pine Orchard.”
Democrat Donna Laich was elected in Brockett’s 7th District, along with Brockett and Republican Kevin Healy, said Brockett.
Democrats had hoped to pick up four RTM seats, he said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Town Clerk Lisa Arpin was still going over numbers to determine whether any recounts would be necessary, she said.
Much of the top of the ticket was decided even before the election, with Republican First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove unopposed in his quest for a fourth term and both Republican incumbent Selectman Joseph E. Higgins Jr. and Democratic selectman candidate Ray Dunbar guaranteed to win their seats because of the lack of a Democrat running for first selectman.
In the town clerk race, Arpin also ran unopposed, and in the tax collector race, Democratic incumbent Roberta Gill-Brooks was both unopposed and cross-endorsed by the Republican Party.
Democrat Kurt Schwanfelder defeated Republican incumbent Michael Nardella in the town treasurer race.
On the Board of Education, Republican Dawn Perrotti and Democrat Ellen Michaels won six-year terms, with current BOE Chairman Michael Kraus failing to win reelection. Democrat Meredith Gaffney won the four-year term on the board, besting Republican Lisa Caruso.
In the Board of Assessment Appeals race, Democrat Joseph Fazzino defeated Republican Jason Driscoll.