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Democrats reign in Mansfield election

By Elizabeth F. Crowley
On November 7, 2012

  • Student voters turned out in Tuesday's elections to the Mansfield Community Center. RACHEL WEISS, The Daily Campus

Democrats swept the election in Mansfield as 8,737 voters cast ballots yesterday, 67 percent of total registered voters.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Chris Murphy, Joe Courtney, Donald Williams and Linda Orange won Tuesday night.

Democrat Gregg Haddad, the Mansfield and Chaplin state representative, who ran unopposed, said he thinks Mansfield residents were most concerned with college affordability.

The majority of residents are UConn students, professors or affiliated with the university to some degree, he said. With the average student debt at $25,000, Haddad said the cost must be contained.

"We need to work to make sure UConn stays affordable," he said.

Ed Neumann, a member of the Republican Town Committee and a long-time Republican supporter, said Linda McMahon was the right candidate to start change in the state.

"I think we need to change direction. At least she's trying to lead the change," he said.

Laura Scruggs, a second-grade teacher at Mansfield's Southeast Elementary School, entered the polls thinking about the future of the education system. Specifically, she said she had Race to the Top and No Student Left Behind on her mind.

"I am very interested in the candidates' views in testing and teacher evaluations," she said.

Her biggest motivator to get to the polls was the closeness of the race and feeling that her vote would really count, she said.

Other voters, like June Nelson, a Mansfield resident for 12 years, wanted to give Obama a second opportunity because she said no president could accomplish his goals in just one term.

"He needs a chance," Nelson said.

For Connecticut, Nelson said she wanted to see more afterschool programs and community centers.

Gaston Hernandez, a member of the Democratic Town Committee, said his life has not changed much in the last four years because he still has the same university job and same salary. But, he said the country is in better shape as a whole, especially with respect to health care.

Hernandez said he also voted out of "fear that if Romney were president, everything would change."

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