Rutigliano, Hwang, Miller roll in state House races

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 2006-08. 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."

Hwang easily won a third term, defeating Dean 3,103 to 1,715 in Trumbull. He also won the Fairfield precincts. 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."

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."