Election Day 2011 brought a double dose of good news for Roger Williams Law as two members of the family (both Class of 2005 alums) won mayoral slots in cities immediately flanking the Ocean State: to the east in Fall River, Mass., and to the south in New London, Conn.
Both victories carried more than passing political impact. In Fall River, Will Flanagan ‘05 – the city’s youngest-ever mayor, elected in 2009 at age 29 – proved his success was no fluke by handily winning a second term. And in New London, Daryl Finizio ‘05 became that city's first openly gay mayor.
Mayor Will Flanagan
In Fall River, Will Flanagan has proven himself an able leader despite facing a tough economy and a host of other challenges. He’s even become something of a local celebrity, finding himself “mobbed by adoring fans who posed for pictures and sought autographs at the Eagle Performing Arts Center” following his victory, according to the Fall River Herald News.
“We learned a lot from this election,” Flanagan said. “I listened to the people who said they wanted me to continue to move the city forward and we’re going to make the changes necessary to do that in the next administration.”
Mayor Daryl Finizio
Meanwhile in New London, Democrat Daryl Finizio was elected, earning close to twice the votes of his nearest competitor. The election was historically significant, marking the return of a mayoral form of government to the city after 90 years under a city-manager system that had become inefficient and corrupt.
“New London has new leadership,” Finizio announced in his victory speech, as reported in the New London Patch. “I assure the people of New London that this administration will make you proud. It will be an administration with full honesty, transparency and integrity. Corruption, favoritism, abuse of power by any official in any department will not be tolerated.”
“We as a city will turn our schools around, we will make our streets safe for all people, we will bring business back to New London and create jobs for the people who live in New London,” Finizio continued. “We are already a community that is re-energized. Our neighborhoods will be revitalized, our spirit renewed and our city reborn. Tonight we can say with renewed confidence and hope that New London will be the Renaissance city.”