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Black Elected in New Haven; Incumbents Dumped In Three Cities

November 8, 1989

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Democrat John Daniels trounced his Republican opponent to become New Haven’s first black mayor, but warned in his acceptance speech that the city was on the brink of disaster.

″Our city is on the edge in many ways. We can only pull back from the edge if we all pull together,″ said Daniels, 53, a five-term state senator.

Elsewhere around Connecticut, voters sent incumbent mayors packing Tuesday in East Hartford, Bridgeport, Danbury and Middletown. Incumbents won in Hartford, Waterbury and Stamford.

Daniels won 20,644 votes, or 68 percent, to Republican Alderwoman Robie Pooley’s 8,886, or 29 percent, according to unofficial returns. Green Party candidate Matthew Borenstein had 931 votes, or 3 percent.

Mayor Biagio DiLieto, who decided not to seek a sixth term, painted an even gloomier picture than did Daniels, speaking of the city’s high rates of poverty, homelessness, AIDS, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and infant mortality.

″There is a litany of problems that disgusts you just to think of,″ DiLieto said. ″I don’t envy him.″

Political novice Mary C. Moran, a Republican who told voters she was a businesswoman and a housewife, not a politician, became the first woman mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city.

Moran, running in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-1, had 15,624 votes, or 53 percent, to 12,368, or 42 percent for Democratic Mayor Thomas W. Bucci, whose administration is beset with budget problems. Four other candidates sharing the remaining 5 percent of the vote.

In East Hartford, Republican challenger Susan G. Kniep ousted Democratic incumbent Robert F. McNulty; Democrat Gene Eriquez ousted Republican incumbent Joseph H. Sauer Jr. in Danbury; and Democrat Paul Gionfriddo upset Republican Mayor Sebastian J. Garafalo in Middletown.

In Hartford, Democrat Carrie S. Perry won a second term with a 2-1 vote margin over Republican challenger Rosemary Z. Cardwell.

In other races, Waterbury Republican Joseph J. Santopietro won a third term and Democrat Thom Serrani was returned to office in Stamford.

Update hourly