WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Mayor Ed O’Brien has served two terms as the Democratic mayor in West Haven. Seeking re-election, he lost the primary last week to former City Councilwoman Nancy Rossi. On Thursday, O’Brien announced he will continue to seek re-election by running on a write in ticket, saying he cannot walk away from four years of progress.
“That vision, this future, that is why I’m formally announcing my run as a write in candidate for the City of West Haven,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien lost by just 136 votes and blames poor voter turnout for the results.
“They thought we were doing good, they thought I didn’t need it and then you look at the future of West Haven and who they’re bringing back and what they plan on doing and you know, I couldn’t turn over all our good work after four years to somebody else,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien claims Rossi has been unfair in her campaign saying she lied about his spending and deficit numbers to win the election.
“She put a lot of fear into the people of West Haven. I thought it was very unfair for all the hard work that we’ve done,” said O’Brien.
At her campaign headquarters, Rossi fired back saying O’Brien’s latest move will divide a democratic party that is already flailing.
“If he was a true Democrat well then you accept defeat. You lost the Democratic primary and you walk away and in two years you come back if you feel that things aren’t being done the way you think they should be,” said Rossi.
Rossi says O’Brien is the liar since he came to her headquarters after the primary and conceded. As for his accusations Rossi says they simply are not true.
“If somebody wants to know what I’m all about I suggest they go to the web page that is set up or they contact me directly. My number is all over or here is my campaign headquarters,” said Rossi. “They have a choice to make. Do they want a jewelry store owner, cause that’s what he did as a profession, or do they want a certified public accountant to take care of their finances?”
“The stakes are too high here in West Haven. We’ve turned the corner. West Haven needed a lot of work, we’re just starting to see the fruits of that work and we can’t stop now,” said O’Brien.