New London — Voters spoke loudly Tuesday, choosing change over the status quo and political newcomer Daryl Justin Finizio as the city's first elected mayor in nearly nine decades.
Finizio, an attorney who moved here about 18 months ago, shook up the established Democratic Party by winning a primary and then handily defeating five challengers, including three sitting city councilors.
"Many asked if the promise of change was just a campaign slogan,'' Finizio said, about an hour after the polls closed Tuesday night. "I want to be very clear, the era of machine politics in New London is over.''
Hundreds of supporter who packed a second-floor banquet room at Dev's on Bank restaurant erupted into applause and cheers.
According to the registrars 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.
At 7, a total of 4,725 people had already voted in this historic election. This was close to 40 percent of the city's 12,793 registered voters. Of that, 344 were absentee ballots.
Six Democrats, Wade Hyslop Jr. (2,400), Anthony Nolan (2,227), Michael Passero (2,657), John J. Maynard (1,731), Marie Friess-McSparran (1,716) and Donald Macrino (2,401), along with Republican Adam Sprecace (2,164), were elected to the City Council.
Five Democrats and two Republicans were elected to the school board. They are Bill Morse (2,092), Delanna Muse (1,633), Sylvia Potter (1,945), Elizabeth Garcia Gonzalez (2,043), Margaret Mary Curtin (2,148), Jason Catala (1,635) and Barbara Major (1,720).