New Britain elected a new Mayor Tuesday. Republican Erin Stewart, 26, upset incumbent democrat Tim O'Brien by more than 1,000 votes.
Stewart campaigned as a candidate of change, and promised to work with both Democrats and Republicans in city hall. She criticized O'Brien on the campaign trail for raising taxes, cronyism, and for abandoning monthly office hours for the mayor.
Mayor O'Brien said during the campaign that under his watch, New Britain was on the rise, after years of mismanagement by previous mayors, including Erin Stewart's father Tim.
Stewart's victory was surprising. In a city of only 13 percent registered Republican voters, Stewart vigorously reached out to independent voters by calling for an end to politics as usual.
Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, Diane Alverio, the publisher of CT Latino News and a longtime resident of New Britain, said Stewart's victory wasn't surprising at all. "Erin put together this bipartisan coalition that appealed to the voters," said Alverio. "People were looking for an alternative here in New Britain because of a lot that's been going on."
While both candidates refrained from vicious attacks on each other during the campaign, bloggers filled that void with vicious, sometimes brutal online attacks on both candidates.