MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) – Towns and cities across the state held primaries on Tuesday.
In Middletown, four candidates fought for the soon-to-be vacant mayor’s office.
It was a crowded field for the Democratic candidate. The city has never had as many as four candidates in one primary.
Recent Wesleyan graduate, Ben Florsheim claimed victory over his three opponents.
Florsheim was the youngest candidate of the four at 27 years old.
"People in Middletown felt we were not reaching our full potential by trying a different kind of politics that is more focused on ideas, bringing people into the conversation rather than waiting for people to come to us with things they can do for us, making sure we as elected officials are present in every neighborhood and every community organization. That we reach out and cooperate with our neighboring towns," Florsheim said.
There are more than 12,000 registered Democrats in Middletown.
“I think whoever it is has to be really responsible. We give ideas all the time. They are not always taken, but I feel they should listen,” said Lorie Lanza of Middletown.
Florsheim, a 2014 Wesleyan graduate now worked for Sen. Chris Murphy.
"I think what people should expect will be for me to be calling on them to get their input and ask for their help. The way we move forward is to lead our way up to what we can achieve and it will take a lot more people than in local government. The way to approach that problem, and I learned this from Chris, this was our charge everyday, was to pick up the phone and talk to people who were not hearing from their elected officials," Florsheim said.
Geen Thazhampallath is Middletown’s director of parking. He and Bill Russo, who is the director of public works, represent the longtime city natives who have seen growth and success in the city through good and bad times.
Mary Bartolotta, an 8-year member of the Common Council is running on a strong education platform.
Waiting in the winds for the Democratic winner is Council Minority Leader and Republican Sebastian Giuliano.
For information from the Secretary of State's office, click here.