Darien supports Biden, Board of Education newcomer


DARIEN — The nation is still undecided on the presidential election but for Darien, the choice was clear.

For the second presidential election in a row, Darien followed Connecticut’s suit and supported the Democratic candidate, with 7,471 — or just over 60 percent — voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Approximately 38 percent, or 4,689, voted for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.


Libertarian candidates Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen received 157 votes, and Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker received 41 votes.

Darien voters turned out in big numbers for the 2020 election, both in person and via absentee ballots. Nearly 6,000 absentee ballots were in as of Monday and another approximately 240 were returned Tuesday. Those additional votes were counted at Town Hall Wednesday afternoon.



The main contested election in Darien resulted in a change on the Board of Education’s faces, but not in the allocation of politicial party seats.

Including Wednesday’s absentee ballots, newcomer Democrat Sara Parent earned her seat on the board with unofficial tally of 6,214 votes, or nearly 25 percent. Republican incumbents David Dineen and Dennis Maroney earned 6,230 and 5,992 votes, respectively. Democrat incumbent Michael Burke earned 5,702 votes. With four candidates for three seats, that leaves the two-term Burke off the board.


U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., also beat his Republican challenger in Darien and the state, Jonathan Riddle, with 6,316 votes to Riddle’s 5,742.


Both Senate Majority leader Bob Duff and state Sen. Carlo Leone lost in Darien but earned re-election in the 25th and 27th districts, respectively.

In Darien, Duff lost to Republican Ellie Kousidis 3,674 to 4,589, and Leone lost to Republican Eva Maldonado 2,215 to 1,636. In Norwalk, Duff beat Kousidis 26,114 to 15,035. In Stamford, Leone beat Maldonado 23,025 to 12,581.

State Rep. Terrie Wood, a Republican running unopposed for her seventh term in the 141st district, earned 8,045 votes, including 1,381 independent votes in Darien. Wood earned 2,443 votes in Norwalk.

State Rep. Matt Blumenthal, a Democrat running for his second term in the 147th House District, won in Darien and in the general election. In Darien, Blumenthal earned 1,111 votes to Republican challenger Dan Maymin’s 916. Blumenthal earned a total of 6,911 votes in his combined district of Stamford and Darien to Maymin’s 4,595.


BOE reaction

On Wednesday, Maroney thanked everyone who voted.

“It was tremendous to see democracy in action, the voter turnout was extraordinary. I am excited to serve another term and look forward to working together with the other members to continue improving education in Darien,” he said.

Maroney’s running mate and board Vice Chairman David Dineen did not respond to request for comment.

Sara Parent thanked the voters, the campaign donors and volunteers, and congratulated Maroney and Dineen.

“Mike Burke and I ran an independent, honest, issues-based campaign that focused on reaching out to as many Darien residents as we could,” she said.

Parent added that the pandemic added some challenges to that effort, but they were able to reach many residents via Zoom, by phone, in backyards or at the dump. She said those conversations will make her a better board member.

“I am grateful to Mike for campaigning with me. Working with him for the past five months has been an honor, and I will be a better board member because of him,” Parent said.

She said Burke’s service and dedication to Darien’s schools for the past six years is commendable.

“We are all in a better place because of his work at the Board of Education table. He will be greatly missed,” Parent said. “… I look forward to working together with the entire Board of Education, other town bodies and the community in the best interests of Darien’s children and families.”

Meanwhile, Burke congratulated Parent on her victory.

“She has a teacher’s heart and mind and will put children first. She will be an amazing addition to that body and it was my privilege to run with her,” he said.

Burke also congratulated Maroney and Dineen. “They have been terrific colleagues and I will miss serving with them and all of my fellow BOE members,” he said.

“Mike Burke served the BOE with professionalism and integrity for the past six years. His work shows a dedication to our children, their future, and our whole community. I wish Mike well and thank him for his service,” said BOE Chairman Tara Ochman.

The next Board of Education meeting is Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., where the new board configuration will elect officers.

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