Democrat Rossi to be next mayor of West Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Democrat Rossi to be next mayor of West Haven

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Democrat Nancy Rossi claimed victory in West Haven on Tuesday (WFSB) Democrat Nancy Rossi claimed victory in West Haven on Tuesday (WFSB)
WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Democrat Nancy Rossi was elected West Haven mayor after incumbent Ed O'Brien conceded at his headquarters on Tuesday night in one of the most hotly-contested elections in the state this Election Day.

Three candidates were looking to get the job.

O'Brien was running as a write-in candidate after losing the primary in September. Nancy Rossi and Republican City Councilor at Large Dave Riccio were also on the ballot.

"It is very exciting, I'm absolutely thrilled, I can't say enough can't thank my team, all of my volunteers, my family, but most of all the taxpayers of West Haven, they're giving me a chance," Rossi said.

She is the first woman to be elected mayor of West Haven.

In September, Rossi, edged Mayor Ed O'Brien by 136 votes in the Democratic primary. But rather than step aside, O'Brien decided to wage a write in campaign, setting up a three way race.

Before the sun was even up on Tuesday, Nancy Rossi was inside her polling place, ready to cast her vote, hoping to become West Haven’s next mayor.

"I was the first voter, and I feel better when the machine works, I put my ballot through and I’m good,” Rossi said.

"Today has been a very high turnout in West Haven, it’s been good talking to residents, they see the vision, they see we're moving in the right direction,” O'Brien said earlier in the day on Tuesday.

Republican City Councilor Dave Riccio said he was hoping a divided democratic party can clear a path to City Hall for him.

"People have been so kind, approach me, saying you're the voice we need and let’s hope that results in the votes we need tonight to put us over the top,” Riccio said.

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It’s gotten heated between the two Democrats.

While O’Brien touted economic development, such as the Haven outlet mall and the Atwood development, along with renovating the high school, Rossi countered that the town's deficit has doubled.

Then there was the issue a few weeks ago, when her camp claimed O’Brien's campaign was behind forged absentee ballot applications; an allegation the mayor's side said was a flat-out lie.

After weeks of campaigning and trying to get their message out, all three know it’s in the hands of the voters.

"We need a change here in West Haven and we need to get rid of all the fire department districts, we need one,” said Maureen Krolewicz, of West Haven.

"I think he's bringing the city together very nicely and I wanted to see him continue to do the work that he's doing,” said Edith Nelson, of West Haven. 

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