Brookfield Republican voters chose Dr. Robin Appleby and Phil Kurtz to represent them on the November ballot as candidates for the Board of Finance (BOF), beating caucus nominees Greg Dembowski and incumbent BOF Chairman Bob Belden by a considerable margin when all the votes were tallied Tuesday night.
The final count came in at 354 votes for Appleby and 327 for Kurtz, putting them an average of 100 votes ahead of Dembowski (234) and Belden (233), with the two highest vote getters winning their way onto the ballot.
“It’s very humbling,” Kurtz said after the returns came in. “It was the will of the people, they’re just tired of it — the culture of spending.”
“I’m pretty surprised,” Appleby said, not expecting there to be such a wide margin. “I love Bob and Greg so much, I just hope they stay with us and hold our hands through the transition.”
“We’re a united party,” Republican Town Committee (RTC) Chairman Marty Flynn said, lauding the process that got them to the two official candidates. “We moved from smaller groups to larger groups — from the town committee of 25, to a caucus of over 100, to now where we’re asking all the Republicans in town who they want it to be. We have our candidates, now we’re going to build on the momentum and capture all these seats in November with a united party.”
Appleby and Kurtz will face and challenger Robert Iacobello.
The primary process was “very amenable,” according to Flynn.
“I sat down with the four candidates early on and we all agreed we were going to keep this civil and keep it and I think we’ve been able to do that,” he said. “We all agreed to get behind the winners.
“I congratulate the other two guys,” Belden said after hearing the results, adding that he “will stay involved in Brookfield, there’s no doubt.”
“It’s been a good run, I’ve enjoyed serving the town on the Board of Finance,” he said.
“The process works,” Dembowski agreed. “I would have loved to see a larger turnout — there might have been a different result — but the people who came out and voted had their voices heard.”
Turnout , with voting picking up after 4 p.m. and 578 voters eventually casting ballots, representing 16 percent of registered Republicans (3,577).
The final turnout numbers most closely mirror the 2002 primary for Judge of Probate, which saw 609 local Republicans casting their ballots, 16 percent of registered voters at the time (3,796).
Other years, where other positions were also left up to the voters, turnout was higher, with between 1,100 and 1,500 ballots cast depending on the year.