Challenger in two competitions. Best incumbent

Photo credit: Lisa Backus

The Democratic Party in Hamden and Stamford voted for an amendment on Tuesday when it removed its incumbent mayors in exchange for challengers.

In Hamden, Lauren Garrett defeated incumbent mayor Curt Leng by more than 2-1.

Garrett will now face Republican Ron Gambardella and Independent Party candidate Albert Lotto in the November 2nd general election.

Their victory also reflected the rise of a progressive wing within the city’s Democratic Party since 2016, which took control of the city committee last year.

At Stamford, State Rep. Caroline Simmons defeated incumbent Mayor David Martin.

Simmons got the approval of the Democratic City Committee in a narrow ballot this summer. Martin then submitted enough signatures to enforce an area code.

If elected, Simmons would be the first woman to hold office in Stamford.

“I congratulate Caroline Simmons on her victory and promise to do everything I can to elect her Mayoress in November,” Martin said in a statement. “My administration has worked too hard for too long to leave the future to our great city, Bobby Valentine.”

Simmons will face former Major League Baseball executive Bobby Valentine on November 2nd, who is running as an independent candidate. There is no Republican in this race.

Governor Ned Lamont declined to comment on the main competition at Stamford earlier in the day.

In New Britain, Rep. Bobby Sanchez defeated Alicia Hernandez Strong, a 25-year-old community organizer. Sanchez had won the support of the Democratic Party in this city.

Sanchez will challenge incumbent Mayor Erin Stewart in November.

In West Haven, Mayor Nancy Rossi held a challenge from John Lewis, a former assistant to her predecessor Ed O’Brien. Earlier this month, O’Brien failed to submit the correct paperwork to launch an independent campaign for his old office.

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