January 25, 2022

Democrat Norman Needleman Elected First Selectman with Democrat Stacia Libby and Republican Joel Marzi Elected to Board

Essex Election Moderator Ted Bliss reads the election results to the crowd in Essex Town Hall (Photo Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX— Democratic Selectman Norman Needleman was elected first selectman Tuesday, defeating Republican nominee Bruce MacMillian by 399 votes. The result was 1,344 votes for Needleman to 945 votes for MacMillian.

Needleman’s Democratic running-mate, Stacia Libby, was elected to the board with 1,135 votes. Republican Selectman Joel  Marzi was re-elected to a second term with 1,030 votes. A total of 2,289 of the town’s 4,530 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday for a turnout of just over 50 percent. Needleman, a selectman since 2003, succeeds four-term Democratic First Selectman Phil Miller to continue eight years of Democratic control of town hall.

The Essex winning team, Democrats First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectman Stacia Rice-Libby at Essex Town Hall (Photo Jerome Wilson)

Needleman and MacMillian shook hands after the result was announced before a crowd in the auditorium of town hall, but MacMillian and his wife, Jerri, then quickly left the building. MacMillian declined to comment on the result.

Needleman said he was pleased with the outcome. “It was a good race,” he said, adding “now is the time to move forward and work for the interest of the town as a group.” The new board of selectmen takes office for the 2011-2012 term on Nov. 16.

Marzi, who lost the 2009 first selectman race to Miller by 376 votes, said MacMillian was “a great running-mate,” adding that both he and MacMillian “want the board to work together and that is exactly what we’re going to do.” In the only other contested race on the ballot, Republican John Ackerman outpolled Democrat Richard Helmecki by 31 votes, 1,098 to 1,067, to win a seat on the board of assessment appeals. Town Democrats had cross-endorsed incumbent Republicans Keith Crehan and Jeffrey Woods for new terms on the board of finance, while town Republicans had cross-endorsed incumbent Democrat Chris Riley for a new term on the Region 4 Board of Education.

All three candidates for the Essex Board of Education will be seated on the board. Republican Adam Conrad received the highest number of votes for a two-year vacancy term, 1,486 votes, with Republican Judie McCann receiving 1,235 votes and 978 votes for Democrat Loretta McCluskey.

State Senator Eileen Daily congratulates Norman Needleman on his victory as First Selectman in Essex Town Hall (Photo Jerome Wilson)