Photographs By Michael Asaro

The end came swiftly for Mayor Mike Jarjura, who conceded the race to Democrat challenger Neil O’Leary 15 minutes after the polls closed Tuesday night. 

Republican newcomer Lysa Margiotta watched in dismay as the bad news poured into GOP headquarters off Scott Road in the East End of Waterbury. The news for the local Republican Party  improved as the evening wore on as they captured seven seats on the board of aldermen (Margiotta is now an alderman), and two seats on the board of education. It was the GOP’s best showing in the five municipal elections since Republican mayor Phil Giordano was arrested and imprisoned in 2001.

Ending a twenty year run representing the people of Waterbury, Mike Jarjura was gracious, and vowed to work with Neil O’Leary in the month ahead to ensure a smooth transition of power. His supporters cheered him for his contribution to stabilizing city finances, and his 20 years of public service as a state representative and mayor.

Mayor Jarjura had been convinced he would win re-election Tuesday in Waterbury. He was actively campaigning in districts throughout the city all day long, and when the end came, he appeared somewhat stunned as he exited headquarters and headed to the traditional WATR broadcast inside the Republican-American newspaper. To the left of Jarjura is his campaign manager, Bob Brown, who told the daily newspaper, “I really can’t believe it. This is not how I saw this going at all.”