Fund Raising May Be Second Place, But District 7 Is The Race
By Dave Mullane
Coming in at just under $18,000 is the Showdown in the Seventh, Shake vs Sutton. These two are the only incumbent council members running for reelection this year. The GOP LOU crew really do not want to see Shake return for a third term on the council, so they gerrymandered her out of her home district, and pitted her against first term member and only returning Republican, Sutton.
The 7th is interesting—because the district leans Republican, they have shown to go against the GOP LOU crew. The only Democrat to win since 2001 was Kim Meuse, who took out two term incumbent and GOP LOU crew member Stroomer.
Stroomer should’ve cruised to victory in 2009 because the GOP won big that year, taking out Democrat Mayor Miron. However some bad press over a DUI arrest may have contributed to his loss, and Stroomer was gone.
Meuse served one term and then moved out of Stratford, leaving the seat open again.
In 2011, GOP LOU brought in Republican Craig Budnick, who won the seat and was re-elect to a second term, but he resigned in early 2015, claiming a work conflict. This opening allowed GOP LOU to install the recently 2013 gerrymandered Gavin Forrester into the seat, which they hoped would give him the incumbent advantage in the fall of 2015 to win the seat.
However, 2015 was the WPCA blowback year, and District 7 Republicans sent Gavin packing and they put up Mitzi Antezzo, who did not drink the GOP LOU crew kool aid, and went on to beat the Democrat by a wide margin in what was a big anti GOP year.
Unable to control Mitzi, the GOP LOU crew recruited Bill Perillo to run in a GOP primary, and with that, Mitzi was done. Perillo won in 2017 and 2019, but much like Stroomer, an unfortunate DUI incident caused the GOP LOU crew to toss out Perillo in 2021 and bring up Sutton.
Sutton won big in a Mayor Hoydick reelection year, so the GOP kept the seat.
This year the GOP LOU crew is hoping they can keep Sutton in seat seven. She had no issues like Stroomer and Perillo, and there is no huge issue like the WPCA sale. However, there has been the Longbrook Park trees, the Center School sale, and the big one was the blatant gerrymandering this year.
The GOP LOU crew do not want Councilwoman Shake to return, so they changed Shake’s district and put her up against Sutton. However, Shake is a giant-killer in campaigning—she raises lots of money and goes door to door making her case.
In 2019, Shake took out GOP LOU crew member and incumbent District 2 councilman Ron Tichy, shocking the GOP.
In 2021, the GOP LOU crew put Tichy up for a rematch, hoping Hoydick’s coattails would help bring home the win for Ron, but no dice. He lost what was a closer election, but Shake proved to be unbeatable. Tichy wasn’t going to face Shake in 2023; he bowed out of politics. He doesn’t even show up for Longbrook park clean ups anymore.
For 2023, what to do? How can they defeat Shake? The GOP LOU crew decides to gerrymander her out of District 2 and put her into District 7 with Sutton.
They also gerrymandered their District 7 loser, former unelected Councilman Gavin Forrester back into District 2, hoping he can win a seat that he actually won three times as a Democrat before gerrymandering. Now Gavin is a GOP LOU crew/ Team Laura member.
District 7 will be the race to watch followed closely by District 2 to see what this gerrymandering has done to voters.
SHAKE D2 history
2019 Tichy 434 / Shake 503 (W)
2021 Tichy 616 / Shake 624(W)
District 7 /Republicans 10 wins / Democrats 1 win
Year Republican / Democrat
2001 Pepin 556 / Bradley 438
2003 Pepin 719 / Bradley 464
2005 Stroomer 754 / Masters 686
2007 Stroomer 496 / Masters 305
2009 Stroomer 702 / Meuse 766 (W)
2011 Budnick 391 / Ferrera 308
2013 Budnick 681 / Bradley 404
2015 Mitzi 734 / Haubert 479
2017 Perillo 764 / Putimas 528
2019 Perillo 632 / Bristol 414
2021 Sutton 853 / Bristol 559