Manville wins Southbury primary
SOUTHBURY — Incumbent Jeff Manville will appear on the ballot in November as the Republican candidate for first selectman.
Manville earned 1,098 votes to GOP endorsed Jennifer Naylor’s 682 votes in Tuesday’s primary, according to unofficial results from the town clerk’s office. He will run against Democrat Rich Boritz.
Manville is seeking his third term as first selectman, while Naylor is on the Board of Selectmen.
“I feel good,” Manville said moments after getting the results. “As usual, when you campaign this hard, you get tired. You mostly go up and down, but I feel good. (I’m going to) keep right on campaigning.”
Over the summer, Naylor beat out Manville to earn the endorsement from the local Southbury Republican Town Committee by 17 votes.
Naylor said she was grateful for the support from the community.
“I’m very proud of the way our campaign was run,” she said. “My Christian values permeated the campaign and we held our heads high. I pray that Jeff will run the town as aggressively as he ran the campaign.”
Manville attributed his win in part to unaffiliated voters who registered as Republicans to vote for him.
“The people of Southbury recognized the work I have done and the progress I have made in these last four years,” he said. “Road have been improved. Taxes are under control. I think they recognized that.”
Throughout the campaign, Manville had touted Southbury’s strong roads and reasonable tax increases as among his accomplishments.
But Naylor had criticized Manville for what she called his lack of transparency and communication with residents, especially when it came to his plan for changes to the ambulance services in town. The ambulance associations had lambasted Manville’s failed proposal for the town to take over basic life support services in the area previously covered by the Southbury Training School’s ambulance.
Manville has said he supported the plan because it would have maintained three 24/7 ambulances in Southbury—a service level he has said the town needs to return to.
He has also said the town needs to restructure its Emergency Management Services Committee and study whether Southbury should form an organized police department, separate from state police.
Naylor will be unable to qualify to run for a regular selectmen seat in November.
“I will definitely miss serving the community in that capacity,” she said. “But God’s got a plan. I’m going to go with that.”
The candidates agreed the town needs to improve transportation for seniors, a large segment of Southbury’s population. They also backed working with the state to develop a plan for the Southbury Training School, a facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities that Connecticut eventually wants to close.
“The people of Southbury recognized the hard work and what I’ve done,” Manville said. “I’m going to continue I work for the people of Southbury.”