West Haven voters will have a full ballot to choose from this November

West Haven voters will have a full ballot to choose from this November


WEST HAVEN — There will be options.

City voters should expect both Democratic and Republican primaries in September as well as four parties to choose from in November’s general election.

City Clerk Patty Horvath confirmed Monday that slates of candidates from the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Independent Party and the newly-formed Action & Accountability Party will appear on November’s ballot. Signatures from candidates to force Democratic and Republican primaries have been submitted to their respective registrars, although the petitions had not been formally certified as of Monday.


Former Democratic Mayor Ed O’Brien, who is seeking his former job for a third time against Democratic incumbent Mayor Nancy Rossi, announced that he would skip that party’s primary and run on a nonpartisan minor party line called Action & Accountability in this fall’s election. Fourteen candidates on the Action & Accountability line successfully gained ballot access for November’s election — including O’Brien for mayor, candidates for six of 10 City Council districts and two at-large City Council candidates.

The Action & Accountability Party slate of candidates includes both registered Democrats — such as former Democratic 3rd District Councilman Aaron Charney running for his old seat — and Republicans — at-large council candidate Paul Frosolone, who is endorsed for the same seat by the city’s Republican Party.

Frosolone said he is a “(Republican) by heart and will always” be a Republican, but for eight years he has wanted to see a party representing a coalition of political interests that does not represent a single party. Charney did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

“I have assembled a team that is made up of people (whose) only goal is to improve West Haven,” O’Brien said in a text message. “When assembling Team O’Brien, the criteria was simple. I wanted to work with people that had the betterment of West Haven as their only goal, not a political party of allegiance to any one party boss.”

A slate of seven candidates is running on the Independent Party line, including candidates for five City Council seats — the 5th through 8th Districts and an at-large seat. The slate is not running anyone for mayor.

Although the Democratic Town Committee endorsed its slate of candidates following its convention, a Republican slate was in question after party officials missed a deadline to formally endorse the slate it selected at its party convention. However, most of the Republican slate has successfully gathered the signatures it needed to appear on a November ballot. As of Tuesday morning, Horvath said Republicans in all but two city council districts — the first and fifth — had submitted enough signatures to appear on the ballot.

“We were able to do it in a weekend,” said Barry Lee Cohen, the Republican nominee for mayor and a 10th District council member.

Dave Riccio, chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said “everyone worked hard as a team.”

Cohen said once the candidates learned party brass had not properly submitted the paperwork, they mobilized within hours. He said that the task was made easier by residents who reached out to him directly to ask whether they could sign the petition.

“I was so overwhelmed and humbled because our campaign, the ‘One West Haven’ team, has been so grassroots, so organic and so exciting,” he said.

Currently, the City Clerk’s office has not certified any challengers for a Democratic or Republican primary, but registrars from both parties confirmed that challengers have submitted signatures. Both Colleen O’Connor, an at-large Republican councilwoman who missed her party’s endorsement for reelection by one vote, and Steven Mullins, who intends to run for mayor as a Republican, confirmed they submitted signatures and continue to collect more ahead of the Wednesday deadline.

John Lewis, who served as executive assistant to O’Brien during O’Brien’s tenure as mayor, also has indicated his intention to run for mayor as a Democrat. Horvath said Lewis has submitted signatures and, although they are not yet certified, the registrars expect him to be “well-qualified” to make the ballot for a September primary based on the number of signatures.

“Our team has always known we would be running a slate since March,” Lewis said. “We used this time petitioning as another opportunity to touch base with the voters. We introduced ourselves to some new residents and were reacquainted ourselves with others.”

brian.zahn@hearstmediact.com



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