Democrats win federal offices, state offices go to Republicans

Redding voters went with the nation, supporting Democratic candidates for the top three spots on the ballot — for president, U.S. senator and U.S. congressman. They re-elected Republicans for three state seats.

Election results were not available until about two and one-half hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m. The doors to the gym at the Redding Community Center were closed after the last person voted as election officials dealt with absentee ballots, overseas and presidential ballots and federal write-in candidates.

“We have to go over these,” said Liz Furer, Republican registrar, explaining that officials have to make sure each ballot is valid. Officials also had to hand-count any ballot spit out by the voting machine, and it took more than two hours to open the 700 or so absentee ballots, she said.

Federal offices

Local voters once again went with President Barack Obama, who outpolled his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, 2,787 votes to 2,503. Mr. Obama garnered 52% of the votes cast, compared to nearly 58% in the 2008 election. He won not only in Redding but also in the state and in the nation.

“To begin with, I am gratified that the people of Redding chose to stick with President Obama and Congressman Jim Himes, as well as choosing to send Chris Murphy to Washington to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, especially, in light of the disastrous results brought about by the national Republicans during the last period in which they controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency,” said Joe Ventricelli, Redding/Georgetown Democratic Town Committee chairman.

“On the local level, although disappointed with the results, I feel confident that as Democrats we offered Redding voters a real choice by putting forward highly qualified, hard-working candidates who would give our town a meaningful, relevant voice in Hartford. As a political organization, we have the challenge of preserving democracy by promoting excellent candidates to stand for local and state office. I am confident we met that challenge; the rest must be left up to the wisdom of our friends and neighbors,” Mr. Ventricelli said.

“I am delighted that Sen. Toni Boucher, Rep. John Shaban, and Rep. Dan Carter bucked the national tide and sailed to re-election,” said Ward Mazzucco, Redding Republican Town Committee chairman. “Voters recognized that their message of lower spending and lower taxes is urgently needed in Hartford.

“I am disappointed, however, that our candidates for federal office did not fare as well at the polls. They all conducted vigorous campaigns, but the voters tended to prefer an alternate message.”

Mr. Mazzucco said, “Now is the time for all victorious candidates to reach across the aisle and to adopt the policies that our country and our state need in order to restore a vibrant economy. Jobs have been, and must remain, the No. 1 priority for our leaders.”

Greenwich resident Linda McMahon, a Republican, lost in Redding to U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, by a vote of 2,646 to 2,505. Mr. Murphy took 51% of the vote here.

The AP and the major networks called the race for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy early in the evening.

“Tonight’s result is not the end of the campaign, it’s [the] beginning of a conversation I hope to continue with you throughout my time as a United States senator,” said Mr. Murphy in his prepared statement.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, a strong supporter of Mr. Murphy, released a statement on his victory Tuesday night, saying, “Tonight’s victory by Chris shows that we have elections in Connecticut, not auctions.”

Ms. McMahon said she had “great supporters all through the campaign. I would really rather of won, but we gave it an incredibly good fight.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes was a winner in Redding, as well as in the 4th District he now represents, giving him a third term. Mr. Himes outpolled his Republican challenger, Steve Obsitnik, by a vote of 2,892 to 2,254, taking 56% of the votes cast.

“Representing the 4th Congressional District has been the honor of my life, and I am humbled that voters chose to keep me representing them in the thoughtful, independent way they expect,” said Mr. Himes in a press release.

State offices

State Sen. Toni Boucher beat her Democratic opponent, Carolanne Curry, by a vote of 2,815 to 2,262 in Redding, winning 55% of the vote. Ms. Boucher won enough votes in the district, which includes Redding, to get a third term.

Ms. Boucher thanked her supporters in a release issued Wednesday morning, and she thanked her opponent for a “hard-fought race.”

“The people’s position on important policies of the state must always be heard, and it is a sacred trust that I take very seriously,” said Ms. Boucher, adding “many tough decisions will need to be made to revitalize our state’s economy. We did it before, and I am confident that if bipartisan efforts are embraced, we can do it again.”

Ms. Curry said her campaign was a “tremendous opportunity to talk about issues important to the district. … I had remarkable support from the Democratic town committees and volunteers, and I met some truly remarkable people,” she said.

There will be no changes in the town’s representation in the state House. Both Republican John Shaban (135th District) and Republican Dan Carter (2nd District) won second terms, and both were victors in Redding.

Mr. Shaban outpolled Leon Karvelis, his Democratic challenger, in Redding, Weston and Easton, which make up the 135th District. In Redding, Mr. Shaban got 1,723 votes compared to 1,630 for Mr. Karvelis. Unofficially, Mr. Shaban took Weston by two votes and Easton by 832 votes. He got 51% of the votes cast in Redding.

“I’m obviously pleased, I want to thank my friends, family and constituents for wanting me back and I’m honored to do it again, and I am pleased,” said Mr. Shaban on Wednesday morning.

“Of course we are disappointed,” said Mr. Karvelis, “but we conveyed several messages during the campaign that I hope resonate as we go forward. They are that this district will be contested by our party and provide voters with clear choices from now on. In addition, that the environment is extremely important to everyone, must be protected and cannot be taken for granted. And finally, that legislative votes have consequences, and that our representatives will be held accountable for them.”

In the 2nd House District race, Mr. Carter won in Redding, Bethel and Newtown but lost in Danbury by a close margin. He outpolled Steven DeMoura, his Democratic challenger, by a vote of 931 to 713, taking 55.5% of the votes cast in Redding.

“I am very grateful to the voters of Bethel, Danbury, Redding, and Newtown for giving me a second shot. I think it’s a testimony to the fact that I have given them excellent constituent service, worked bipartisan in the House, and have held the line on some issues,” said Mr. Carter. “I think that’s why I was given a shot.

“Steven DeMoura ran a fantastic campaign. I think he’s a great guy and has a future in politics.”

Registrars

Both registrars of voters — Republican Liz Furer and Democrat Margi Esten — were re-elected to their posts. They were not competitors and each was guaranteed a victory. Ms. Furer got 2,450 votes and Ms. Esten, 2,523.

Voter turnout was 76%, lower than in the 2008 election, when 83% of eligible voters cast ballots. Of the town’s 7,057 voters, 5,388 voted. In 1992, in the Bill Clinton versus George H.W. Bush race, 90.5% of voters went to the polls.

The low during the decade was 75% for the 1996 presidential election; turnout was 83% in the 2000 election and 85% in the 2004 election.

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