Farmington voters bring on two new council members

Newly elected Farmington city council member Maria Taylor expected to win a seat in the Tuesday, Nov. 7 local election.

The 26-year-old, first-time candidate did not expect to pick up more votes than anyone else in the race. She topped the field with 1,567 of the more than 2,300 votes cast.

Maria Taylor Joanne McShane
Former Farmington city council member Joanne McShane congratulates newly elected council member Maria Taylor at Farmington Brewing Company.

Taylor believes the time she spent talking with voters gave her an edge. By her own count, she knocked on more than 2,500 doors since launching her candidacy in May.

“I asked them what their issues were and talked to them about those issues,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t afraid to take a stand on issues people care about.”

Former Farmington city council member Joanne McShane, who publicly endorsed Taylor, said she believes the community was “ready for change.” McShane served with the youngest candidate ever elected in Farmington, long-time city council member and mayor Bill Hartsock.

“I think it’s a very positive direction for the community to have a younger person with different ideas and different ways to progress in the city,” she said.

Joe LaRussa
Newly elected Farmington city council member Joe LaRussa celebrates at Brown Dog Barlor with his wife, Missy, and children Sofia and Matteo.

Taylor and incumbent Bill Galvin, who won a second term following his appointment to council in 2011, picked up four-year terms. In an election-night statement, he said he is honored to have been re-elected. 

“I occasionally talk about stewardship as a locally elected official.  As the elder statesmen of this new council, I hope to demonstrate that we are stewards entrusted as caretakers with accountability to serve our community,” he wrote. “The first step in this process of stewardship will be an organizational meeting.  In Farmington we appoint the mayor among city council members for a two year term.  It has been a rewarding experience to fulfill the mayoral duties for Farmington since 2013.  However it is time to engage another council member with that figurehead leadership role.  It is another exciting part of our democratic process here in Farmington.”

Joe LaRussa, another first-timer, won a two-year seat with the third highest vote total.

The 41-year-old industrial engineering manager and father of two said he looks forward to bringing his technical skills to the table and adding to the discussion about Farmington’s future. He was also taken aback by Tuesday’s election results.

“I was surprised that two incumbents were displaced, that’s something almost unheard of in a municipal election in a small community,” he said, adding Jeff Scott and Greg Cowley were both “strong” candidates. “I’m really humbled that Farmington would give me the chance.”

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