Bass unseats Gronbach in New Milford mayoral race
NEW MILFORD — Pete Bass was elected mayor Tuesday night, defeating incumbent David Gronbach, according to unofficial results.
Gronbach, a Democrat serving his first term, conceded shortly after the polls closed.
Claiming victory shortly afterward, Bass promised to “return civility to our town.”
“I’m very, very humbled that the people decided to go with me,” Bass said. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve.”
Gronbach, 41, was elected in 2015, defeating long-term Republican Mayor Pat Murphy. He had faced criticism from the first over what detractors considered an unnecessarily hard-edged approach and a disregard for the political process.
Gronbach campaigned on a record of financial responsibility and promoting economic development, as well as investing in projects like the riverfront trail and conversion of the former John Pettibone School to a community center.
Bass, 55, has served six terms on Town Council. He is an alternate on the Sewer Commission and led the Republican Town Committee. He focused his campaign on maintaining and improving town roads, helping small business and working with the Board of Education.
After receiving Gronbach’s concession call, Bass thanked his supporters, to loud cheers.
”This is because of you, our campaign committee and the people of New Milford who wanted to make a change and voted to let us lead,” he told the crowd.
He encouraged residents to reach out to him.
”I look forward to hearing from the public because it’s our town and we’re going to run it together,” Bass said.
Republicans also won control of Town Council, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 6-3 majority. Democrats Lisa Hida, Peter Mullen and Walter Bayer took three seats, with the rest going to Republicans Douglas Skelly, Katy Francis, Paul Symanski, Thomas Esposito, Michael Gold and Michael Nahom.