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New London's Got a New Mayor: Michael Passero

Harriet Jones
Michael Passero gives his victory speech in New London Tuesday night
Passero will now have to manage the transition to the state's first all-magnet school district.

Just 40 minutes after polls closed in Connecticut, Democrat Michael Passero was giving his victory speech.

Passero's garnered 2,363 votes in unofficial totals, easily beating Republican Bill Vogel, who polled 875. His win is not surprising in New London, a heavily democratic city.

Passero previously beat incumbent Democrat Daryl Justin Finizio in September’s primary. 

Passero had a message for his supporters in his victory speech. "Now we really need your help," he told them. "Because I believe that the talent is going to come off the sidelines in this city; this city is going to explode."

"We're going to throw the doors of City Hall open to everybody," he went on. "We're going to rebuild public works, we're going to re-energize our police department. And the thing I heard most was concern about our finances and our taxes... we're going to control the growth of government spending."

Republican Vogel ramped up his campaign just within the last couple of months, missing out on more than a year’s worth of name recognition Passero was able to generate in a fiercely fought primary contest.

Passero is a city firefighter and a part-time labor lawyer who's served three terms on the city council. His closeness to labor unions has raised some questions about whether he'll be tough enough to wring concessions from city workers as he tries to balance the books in New London.

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Passero will face several big issues in the city; perhaps the biggest is the decision to become the state's first all-magnet school district. That move was ratified by citywide referendum last year. 

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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