Voters in the Valley are glad the election is over. After months of negative ads and constant phone calls, residents of Naugatuck, Prospect and Beacon Falls said they were ready to vote and move on.
“I’m glad it’s over because the TV ads have been plentiful,” said Frances Chester of Naugatuck.
Sue Laud of Prospect and several other voters said they were disappointed by the negativity of the campaigns.
“Facts got obscured … on both sides,” Laud said.
Although he’s come to expect negative campaigning, Stephen Marshall of Beacon Falls said, “(The candidates) took a new level of personal stabs at each other, but like all politicians, my personal opinion is they’re all pretty corrupt.”
Marshall said he believed in minimizing government and maximizing people. As a hair stylist, Marshall said he hoped whoever is elected will help bring down costs for small businesses. He said barber shops that have been open for 50 years are closing because of the slow economy. Marshall hoped to open his own hair salon within five years.
“In this economy, I can’t see how that’s possible,” Marshall said.
Moderators at the polls said the turnout was higher than usual.
“We’re getting a good amount of people this year,” said Liz Falzone, an election official at Laurel Ledge School.
Falzone said that people seemed happy to vote.
“I think they are very certain of what they are doing,” she said.
Falzone previously lost an election when she was running for board of education by eight votes.
“I tell everybody that every vote counts,” she said.
“I would say we’ve had medium to heavy turn out,” said Helen Borbas, a moderator at Central Ave. School. Borbas said that this election, people are more informed about the candidates than they have been in her 20 years of experience as a moderator.
“People are more concerned. They’ve thought a lot about who they’re going to vote for,” Borbas added.
According to Carol Stewart, assistant registrar at Cross Street School, there was a younger crowd at this year’s election.
“Obviously the election means a lot to them,” said Stewart. She said that younger voters realize that their vote will affect their future.
Roberta Accetura, moderator at the Prospect Fire House, said that the turn out was very good. “Everyone is interested in a change, it seems,” she said.
Leonard Greene Jr., winner of the 105th House District race against Theresa Conroy, said that voters seem more passionate this year than in the past.
“I’ve never seen such a high level of interest in what’s going on and people paying attention to the real issues … They’re making an educated choice, which is great,” he said.
Greene said that the first thing he would do if elected is to get the state finances under control.
“We have stop borrowing as much as we’ve been, start being more responsible with the way we spend, decrease the amount of the spending, and try to relieve the burden on employers and on private individuals,” he said.
Greene promised to try to alleviate unemployment in the Naugatuck Valley. “I’d love to see a lot more businesses come in to the area. Economic development is a huge problem, especially for the Valley because, like I’ve said, we’ve lost a lot of jobs in this area and that means that our property taxes are becoming ever more burdensome for the regular guy…As representative, my goal is to ease that burden by making it less onerous for employers to actually come here and set up shop in the district,” said Greene.
Ray Rossi, husband of Republican candidate for state Senate Tamath Rossi, said his wife has been campaigning very hard.
“She’s done everything she can do. Now it’s up to the voters,” he said.
If elected, Tamath Rossi will go right to work up in Hartford and try to get through some of the key issues that she’s run on, such as controlling spending and not raising taxes said Ray Rossi. “She won’t let down, that’s for sure,” said Rossi.
Tracy Ciavarella of Beacon Falls said that it is important for Congress to take another look at health care reform. “I think we need health care modernization, but I don’t think everything in the reform bill really is correct for Americans,” said Ciavarella.
Ciavarella said Congress needs new blood to enact change.
“If there is more balance in our Congress and Senate, there will be better votes,” said Ciavarella.
Len Tiscia of Naugatuck said that he hoped the election results would help get the government back on track.
“For the past 18, 19 months, the way the government’s been run with the president and the Congress is just unacceptable … They don’t read the bills that they write … I’m looking for a more conservative government, a smaller government, and more support for the constitution of the United States,” Tiscia said.
“I’m encouraged. I voted totally against the established party. I’m a Democrat. I voted totally in the opposite direction, “Tiscia said. “I feel that there was a lot of media bias trying to push it back to Obama.”
David Wilson of Naugatuck said that the current government doesn’t listen to its constituents. He said the state of Connecticut has been over spending. The government should stop borrowing and get us back to work, Wilson said.
Jeff Lamontagne of Prospect, a lifelong Democrat, said that he hoped the newly elected officials would advance health care, extend Bush era tax cuts to the middle class, pass buy American legislation to encourage domestic production, and keep jobs in the States.
Sue Loud of Prospect said that as a state worker, she was “worried that if a Republican gets in, he will dismantle collective bargaining.”
Loud said that unions have been doing their part by making concessions.
“I’m here on a furlough day,” Loud said.
She voted for Dan Malloy for governor, a race still undecided at press time on Wednesday morning.
“Malloy will work with the unions a little bit more and try to reach compromises,” she said.