Clean Sweep for Republicans in Greenwich Municipal Elections

On election night, Greenwich Republicans gathered at the Arch Street Teen Center to await results in campaigns for Board of Selectmen, BOE, BET, Tax Collector, Town Clerk, etc.

Before the night was over, they celebrated victories for First Selectman Fred Camillo, Selectwoman Lauren Rabin, Town Clerk Jackie Budkins, Tax Collector Heather Smeriglio and the six Republican candidates for Board of Estimate and Taxation (Karen Fassuliotis, Leslie Tarkington, Dan Ozizmir, Michael Basham, Nisha Arora, Bill Drake).

As of deadline for GFP, the race among the three Republican candidates for Board of Education was too close to call. Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony seemed to be assured a seat, though the remaining Republican seat was a toss up between Megan Galletta and Cody Kittle.

Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo won a second term on Nov 2, 2021 Photo: James Bonney
Jackie Budkins will be Greenwich’s next Town Clerk, following in her mother’s footsteps. Photo: James Bonney
Selectwoman Lauren Rabin won a second term as Greenwich Selectwoman. Photo: James Bonney

Camillo quoted Winston Churchill in his victory speech. “Churchill once said that when the past argues with the present, the future suffers. And the last two years, we respected our past, we managed the present, but we had plans for the future, and the people of Greenwich approved of that, but also said what a great team the people of Greenwich put together.”

Camillo said that despite the pandemic, civil unrest and 500-year storm, “We got it done.”

Jackie Budkins, who won her race for Greenwich town clerk against Democrat Molly Saleeby, said she was excited to start her new journey. She thanked her mother Carmella Budkins, the outgoing town clerk who served for 30 years.

Heather Smeriglio who won a second term as tax collector. She thanked her family and the leadership of Harvest Time Church.

At the Old Greenwich Social Club, where Democrats gathered to await results of the municipal election, around 9:00pm candidate for First Selectman Bill Kelly announced he had called Republican incumbent Fred Camillo to concede.

“I did my best to raise issues that I thought were important to the Town such as the physical condition of the schools, the fields and the infrastructure,” Kelly said. “If some or all of them get addressed, then I’ll feel the effort was worthwhile. I wish Fred the best because his success will be our success.”

Democratic candidate for First Selectman Bill Kelly and his wife Barbara and their family. Nov 2, 2021 Contributed photo
Democratic candidate for First Selectman Bill Kelly and Selectman candidate Janet Stone McGuigan. Nov 2, 2021 Photo: Leslie Yager

Next, Mr. Kelly turned to his running mate, Janet Stone McGuigan to congratulate her for getting the most votes. She will serve as Selectperson alongside Mr. Camillo and Ms Rabin.

“I will return your faith in me with the service you all deserve. This may not be the outcome we hoped for, but I said it and I meant it. I will always put the best interest in the community first, and nothing has changed. I will work collaboratively and inclusively across the political aisle,” she said. “As an elected official you can be assured that I will exercise good judgement. I understand that the decisions I make will impact our entire town, now and into the future.”

Ms Stone McGuigan said she had sent her congratulations to Mr. Camillo and Ms Rabin on winning second terms.

“It takes a town to run an election,” she added. “Municipal elections are so important. What happens at the local level often has the greatest impact on our daily lives. Regardless of how you voted, I am committed to serving you.”

Ms Stone McGuigan thanked Mr. Kelly as well as outgoing Selectperson Jill Oberlander for her service.

On WGCH 1490 AM radio, outgoing Ms Oberlander commentated on the election returns alongside former Republican six term First Selectman Peter Tesei.

Around 9:30pm they noted the Republicans appeared to have won the office of First Selectman, BET, Tax Collector and Town Clerk.

Mr. Tesei wished the best to Mr. Camillo and Ms Rabin, and gave special congratulations to Jackie Budkins.

“I’ve known Jackie a long time. She’s a sweet, caring person and I think she will do a superb job building on hat her mom has done in the last three decades.”

As for Republican Heather Smeriglio, who won a second term as tax collector, Tesei said she was very engaged.

“Town Hall has majority women leadership. If you look at it from a gender point of view, It breeds healthy governance,” Tesei said.

As of 9:30pm Cody Kittle and Megan Galletta were battling for the second Republican seat on the Board of Education behind Michael-Joseph Mercanti-Anthony. The numbers were too close to call.