Cromwell’s Republicans win three Education Council seats while Democrats win one

CROMWELL – Four Republicans and a Democrat won their nominations for Cromwell Board of Education seats on Tuesday in unofficial tally.

The main voters are Republicans Kelly Franklin (2,320), Matthew S. Zabroski (2,170), Celina Kelleher (2,106) and Alan R. Schumann Jr. (2,093) and Democrat Kelly Cloutier (2,060).

There were eight candidates vying for the Board of Education, with five open seats available.

As the city’s only polling station, the parking lot at Cromwell High School was filled with residents coming to vote.

Inside the building, representatives from the high school’s performing arts department were hosting a bake sale alongside members of the boys’ soccer team, who also took the opportunity to raise funds. The gymnasium was packed with voters moved from office to office, and eventually to one of 31 voting booths to fill out their ballots.

Outside the building, candidates lined up on the front sidewalk, welcoming and thanking voters for their participation. Brochures listing all of the BOE applicants were available for those still assessing their options.

The Republicans proposed a list including a holder, Celina Kelleher. She said the main issues she hoped she could continue to address were overcoming learning loss, advocating for lifelong in-person learning, and maintaining resources for student mental health access.

Continuing to offer in-person learning, or maintaining high-quality education during the pandemic in general, was also the subject of consensus among other Republican candidates. These three other candidates completing the list were Matthew Zabroski, Alan Schumann and Kelly Franklin.

Providing mental health resources was something agreed upon by both candidates from both parties.

Democrats also featured an incumbent in John M. Flanders. The other candidates, Greg Carter, Kelly Cloutier and Shannon Hughes-Brown were all running for the first time.

Cloutier and Hughes-Brown both said they were happy with the turnout.

“This is exactly what you want to see,” said Hughes-Brown.

“It was fantastic,” repeated Cloutier.

The candidates across the aisle agreed.

By 5 p.m., nearly 3,000 ballots had already been counted, not counting the more than 500 mail-in ballots that had been counted at that time.

The Republican city council met at Cafe Luna at 35 Berlin Road to wait for the final results, while Democrats were right next door at Joe’s gas station.

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