It was a long election night for the four mayoral candidates in Vernon as numbers from the six voting districts trickled in slowly.
"This is torture," said Board of Education candidate David Kemp as he gathered with fellow candidates and supporters at Angellino's Restaurant to await the results. "It never used to take this long to find out."
When it comes to elections, nothing is certain and amid all the buzz and excitement Republican-endorsed candidate George Apel expressed some concern about the lower turnout of voters possibly due to the after-effects of the unprecedented storm a week ago Saturday.
He also said he wasn't sure how residents might cast their votes with four instead of two candidates for mayor to choose from in the race. Apel had not only Democratic-endorsed candidate Pauline "Polly" Schaefer to worry about, but also petitioning candidates James Krupienski and Gordon Paterson.
"It's definitely been a different kind of campaign," said Apel. "But our campaign crew has over 100 years of experience combined and we went to over 4,000 doors. We each probably ran through a pair of shoes. Now it's up to the voters."
For Apel and his team, the wait was well worth it. Apel took the most votes in all but two districts and Republicans maintained a majority taking seven out of 12 seats.
"It's gratifying," said Apel. "This wasn't me. This was a team effort, a whole group of people that made this happen," he said, giving special recognition to some behind the scenes team members, including Christy Vale for her outstanding writing skills, Nancy Osborn for making phone calls, John Anderson for his work as campaign manager, and Republican Town Chairman Hal Cummings for all his hard work.
Schaefer, Paterson, and Krupienski each paid a visit to Angellino's to acknowledge Apel's win and wish him the best.
"I gave it my best shot, and I'm proud of the campaign from all four sides," said Paterson. "It was a good race."
"We gave it a good run, but I was out-voted," said Krupienski, adding that he will miss serving on the Town Council. Despite his departure, he said he will remain involved in the work of the town as he will continue as recording clerk for the Planning and Zoning Commission and Design Board.
"I think James drew a lot (of votes) from Polly and Gordon from George," said Cummings, adding, however, that they might have each cancelled each other out. "I really think George is going to do very well for the town of Vernon in the next two years."