Rep. Hoydick to become first female Stratford mayor

<p>Republican state Rep. Laura Hoydick beat Democrat Stephanie Philips, a former town councilwoman, and Sandra Zalik, a petitioning candidate, in a three-way race for Stratford mayor.</p>

News 12 Staff

Nov 7, 2017, 11:04 AM

Updated 2,394 days ago

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Republican state Rep. Laura Hoydick beat Democrat Stephanie Philips, a former town councilwoman, and Sandra Zalik, a petitioning candidate, in a three-way race for Stratford mayor.
She called up fellow victorious Republican candidates as she addressed cheering supporters, thanking them and joking about the noisy crowd. She even called for a gavel to help quiet them down.
She becomes the first female Stratford mayor after a race that for the first time featured only female candidates.
Current Mayor John Harkins had already called it quits after eight years in office. He has praised Hoydick's campaign.
Republican challengers also made gains in the town council.
Across town, Philips also thanked her supporters, albeit for a different reason.
"It's becoming pretty evident that we're gonna come up short," Philips told her supporters as the results were still coming in. 
She said she had looked to Hillary Clinton for a lot of inspiration.
"As well as when she lost," Philips said. "We were very, very close. We ran a hell of a good campaign."
This year's Election Day comes as the town has failed to pass a budget.
All three candidates said they want to stop political fighting, cut taxes and make economic development a priority.
Both Philips and Hoydick touted their years of service to Stratford.
Philips has served as zoning commissioner and the Democratic town committee chairwoman. Hoydick is a state representative.
Philips has said the mayor's office is top heavy, and that cuts need to be made there.
She also says the election is about change and bringing the voice back to the residents.
"I want to be the mayor that's open," Philips said. "Take the doors off the mayor's office that people can come in. I'd be at meetings. These are the things that are critical to any leadership."
Hoydick also vowed to bring efficiency, civility and stability to town hall to attract investors.
She said her experience holding various offices sets her apart from the other candidates, specifically her role as a state representative, a seat she said she would give up if elected mayor.
"Stratford is the most important thing in my political career," Hoydick said. "Serving the community as a volunteer or elected official and putting the needs of Stratford first has always been paramount. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be running now for this position."
Zalik campaigned on her background in finance. She's spent years in auditing and argued that she could help create financial stability in a town that still hasn't passed a budget.
She also pledged to call for an operational audit to find out if town money is being used efficiently and effectively. And she said she believed her status as a petitioning candidate would work in her favor.
"Being not part of any big party machine, I think I will have a better chance of working across the aisle with both parties," she said. "Because I'm not seen as an opposing figure. Make it work, work together."


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