OLD LYME – Republican First Selectman Tim Griswold easily defeated Democratic challenger Bonnie Reemsynder by a margin of 265 votes, much wider than two years ago when Griswold had a lead of only 46 votes.
This year, Griswold had 54.4 percent of the vote and won a vote tally of 1608-1343 allowing him to serve for a sixth term in office.
While losing the race for first selectman, Reemsynder will continue to be the sole Democrat on the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.
“Certainly the May referendum was a big statement from the community. I think the school issue was a big issue in this campaign,” Griswold said.
Griswold referred to the referendum where voters rejected on a vote of 2,798 to 1,787, a $54 million proposal to renovate and expand the Lyme-Old Lyme High School.
Before the referendum, Griswold said he was the only member on the Board of Selectmen to speak out against the project citing its high cost.
“This time it was not as much of a (political) party issue, the school project was the principal issue,” Griswold said, adding that some Democrats voted for Republicans while some Republicans voted for Democrats.
In the end, Griswold sees the results as reaffirming that residents want the Board to “keep going on the course we have been, the big challenge is to have a (high school) building come in at a good price.”
Incumbent Republican Selectman Arthur E. Sibley, Jr. won re-election for a fourth term against Democratic Challenger Adam S. Burrows on a vote count of 1609-1290.
Due to problems with wet ballots at Cross Lane Firehouse, the town’s only polling place, results were not available until more than two hours after polls had closed.
The closest races in the election were the Zoning Commission five year term beginning in 2007 and three seats on the Regional Board of Education.
Democratic incumbent Patrick G. Looney beat out Republican challenger Theodore Philip Kiritsis by 38 votes, a vote count of 1395-1357.
At press time, the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s Office did not receive any requests for a recount.
In the Board of Education race, challenger Republican Alice Burbank had the most votes with 1484 ballots cast, while challenger Republican Christopher P. Carter had the second most votes with 1478.
Incumbent Democrat Susan P. Fogliano had the third most votes with 1448 beating out Incumbent Republican Mary J. Stone by 41 votes.
Stone received a total of 1407 votes while challenger Democrat Maggie Ward received only 1325.
Republican challenger Thomas Kahrl, Sr. received the least 1377 votes.
The Old Lyme Registrar’s of Voters Office estimates there are approximately 5,900 registered voters in town and some 2,951 voters.
About 50 percent of registered voters cast their ballots in this year’s election.