NEW - Musto wins 22nd, GOP sweeps House races
Democrat Anthony Musto won a third term representing the 22nd District, which includes Trumbull and parts of Monroe and Bridgeport. Musto won among Trumbull and Monroe voters for the first time, defeating challenger Chadwick Ciocci in all three communities.
"I think people see how hard I've been working for all three communities and they supported me for the work I do for the entire district, and I appreciate that," Musto said. "I look forward to the next two years; there's certainly still a lot to do on job creation and health care. I expect to have my hands full."
Ciocci said the campaign had been "interesting and fun" and vowed to continue to be a voice for fiscal responsibility in his role as Town Council majority leader.
"I will continue to serve the people of the community and the state," he said.
Republicans David Rutigliano, Tony Hwang and Lawrence Miller will represent Trumbull in the state House of Representatives for the next two years. Hwang rolled to re-election over challenger Heather Dean in the 134th District. Rutigliano defeated former state Rep. Thomas Christiano and petition candidate Louis Bevilacqua in the 123rd. Miller ran unopposed in the 122nd, which includes the parts of Nichols along the Shelton border.
"A lot of work went into this win," said Rutigliano, who estimated he personally visited 2,500 homes in the 123rd District during the campaign. "Everyone I talked to said the same thing: They are unhappy with the state of the economy in Connecticut."
Rutigliano defeated Christiano 5,767 to 4,606. Christiano had formerly held the 134th District seat from 2006 to 2008. A shift in the district boundary moved him into the 123rd District, which is entirely within Trumbull and had been held by Republican T.R. Rowe for the past 14 years. Rutigliano said he was gratified that the unaffiliated voters also backed his candidacy. He said he could be an effective legislator despite being in the minority party.
"I bring a different philosophy coming from a small business background," he said. "If I can change the tone of the conversation in Hartford, then I'll feel I've done my job."
Rutigliano already has picked up at least one supporter. Christiano dropped in on the GOP victory party at Marisa's and the two congratulated each other on their hard-fought campaign over a drink.
"I have full faith in David, and I'm positive he'll do well in Hartford," Christiano said. "Every time we've met, I've found him to be a gentleman, and Trumbull will be well-represented."
It was unclear on Wednesday morning how many votes petition candidate Louis Bevilacqua received. Reports from around town indicated he may have gotten about 100, but the secretary of the state's website still has not posted official numbers for the district. Bevilacqua on Wednesday was not ready to give up.
"Obviously I'll not concede until I see some official numbers," he said. "As a public official it would be irresponsible and unwise to either claim victory or console in defeat until the people speak. If I was not victorious, this shows the decline of things. I ran a great campaign. I advocated for the people. I offered solutions."
Hwang easily won a third term, defeating Democrat Heather Dean 3,103 to 1,715 in Trumbull. He also won the Fairfield precincts 4,268 to 2,145. He called the result gratifying.
"I'm truly humbled by the confidence of the voters in both towns," Hwang said. "This result is an affirmation that good public service is a value to the voter and I am glad that voters see, believe and vote for it and that a commitment to community has been rewarded."
Dean, who owns a day care facility, said she was disappointed in the result but proud of the work done by her campaign volunteers.
"I had a solid team of dedicated loyal people, and a lot of parents cheering me on," she said. "We didn't get the result we were hoping for, but I'll continue to proudly serve on the RTM and spend some time with my family that sacrificed so I could be part of this campaign.
Hwang said he had scaled back his campaign in the last week, focusing instead on storm recovery.
"People want their public officials out there taking care of the community," he said. "They're tired of the negatives."
Since he had no power in his house for five days, Hwang said, he spent his time driving around Fairfield and Trumbull, looking for ways to help out.
"That is ongoing," he said. "People out there that still don't have power can expect to see me and expect that UI will get a call from me."
In the Probate Judge race, former state Rep. T.R. Rowe won an unexpectedly close race over Democrat Amy Todisco. Rowe won 9,565 to 7,480 in Trumbull, 4,865 to 4,801 in Monroe and 1,828 to 1,752 in Easton.
"It's humbling and gratifying to win an election. especially for a new, open seat," said Rowe. "I congratulate Amy on the good and strong race she ran."