New London challenger Passero declares victory in democratic mayoral primary against Finizio

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NEW LONDON – New London challenger Michael Passero declared victory in the Democratic mayoral primary against incumbent Mayor Daryl Finizio.

City Councilor Passero’s victory came in a battle that has been described as “old guard” verses “new guard.”

Finizio was the first mayor elected in New London since a city charter change which got rid of a city manager system. He described himself as more progressive than Passero, a firefighter and six-year City Council member.

Twenty-three percent of registered voters turned out for Wednesday’s primary election.

Finizio congratulated Passero, saying he has “full confidence we have left the City of New London better than we found it.”

“This was a hard-fought race for over a year with a lot of strong feelings on both sides,” Finizio said. “I told Mr. Passero that he would have my full support for the November election and hopefully his term as mayor.”

“I think the city is united in the issues,” Passero said. “We need to restore professional management to City Hall.”

“We need to get all the talent that’s been pushed to the sidelines back in the game,” he said. “We need to rebuild our public safety agencies. We have a lot of work to in New London, but we’re optimistic we can do it.”

Passero says he will regroup with his campaign staff on Monday to begin preparing for the election. He said he is humbled and very appreciative of all the support.

Finizio became a write-in candidate after losing his party’s endorsement to Passero.

Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto released the following statement on the New London mayor’s race:

“Congratulations to Michael Passero on his hard-fought victory tonight. His service to the community over the years has been admirable, and I am confident that the city will continue to move forward under his leadership. I also want to thank Darryl Finizio. He has been a real leader for the Democratic Party, and I am confident that his future is bright.”