(Updated: 12:42 a.m.)
There will be a new representative in the 81st Assembly District, but the seat will not be changing hands as voters elected David Zoni to replace fellow Democrat and retiring five-term State Rep. Bruce "Zeke" Zalaski by a considerable margin on Tuesday night.
In an election that saw 76 percent of registered Southington voters take to the polls, the changing of the guard marked the only race in which the seat changed hands, however.
Republican Joseph Markley defeated challenger John “Corky” Mazurek to retain the 16th Senate District, Republican Rob Sampson will remain the representative in the 80th Assembly District and Republican Al Adinolfi defeated challenger Liz Linehan in the 103rd Assembly District that also includes a portion of Southington for the first time.
Incumbent Democrat Joe Aresimowicz, who ran unopposed, will retain the 30th Assembly District.
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“I think, the way I see it, this was a clear decision by voters that was made not about the people running but our positions on how to address the problems facing the state and especially job creation,” said Republican Cheryl Lounsbury, who lost by just over 1,000 votes.
For complete voting totals, be sure to see the chart above.
Lounsbury said she is happy for her opponent and will work close with Zoni for the betterment of the community. She said she will continue to serve as a Southington Town Councilor and believes that he did a great job of getting his message out and will be able to take his experience to the state and make a positive difference.
Zoni said Tuesday that with the election behind him, it’s time to focus on the issues of job creation and economic growth facing Connecticut as a whole.
"Though I may have not gotten every vote in the 81st district, I fully intend to represent every person in this district equally and take on the tasks to create jobs and make our community, our town and our state a better place," Zoni said.
Representatives of both parties on Tuesday said they weren’t entirely surprised by the results, saying that the challenging economy and success Southington has had in staying afloat made it difficult for challengers this election season.
Zalaski said the results were as he anticipated.
“It’s always tough to beat an incumbent and we saw that here tonight,” he said.
Federal Level Results
Southington voters were in line with their counterparts across the state on Tuesday, re-electing Barack Obama as president and Congressman John Larson, D-1st, back into office.
There was a small surprise, however, as the town instead voted in favor of Republican Linda McMahon as U.S. Senator by 1,200 votes, although it was Democrat Christopher Murphy who ended up taking the Connecticut seat by an unofficial 6 percentage points.
“I asked him to work hard for the people in our state,” McMahon said.
“It is our responsibility to charge them, to challenge them to make sure they hear what we say and to make sure they are doing what we need because they work for us,” she said to an appreciative crowd. “And if we let them forget that, then shame on us because we need to voice our concerns and we need to say what we need, and I’m looking forward to being helpful in that regard.”
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