Southington voters in the 81st district elected David Zoni to fill the seat left behind by retiring state representative Bruce “Zeke” Zalaski, while the incumbents in the Southington delegation were re-elected.
Zoni, a Democrat and former Town Councilor, led with 5,870 votes while his opponent, Republican Town Councilor Cheryl Lounsbury, had 4,718 votes. Zoni called his parents when it became clear that he had won. “I’ll be working under the golden dome,” he told them.
Lounsbury was consoled by fellow Republicans at the Friends Cafe when it became clear she had lost. Town Councilor Peter Romano told her “the state’s loss is Southington’s gain.”
“It’s been a Democratic district for a long time and you always hope it will go the other way, but this is a great win for David,” Lounsbury said. “He obviously worked hard and got his message out.”
Both candidates were proud to have run a highly positive campaign and warmly greeted each other at Bonterra, where the Democrats were counting results.
“My goal is to serve for the greater good,” Zoni said. “I will represent everyone in Southington. I am working for them.”
Zalaski, a Democrat who had served for ten years, said Zoni had followed his advice by going door to door in the district and that the two had similar values.
“I’m proud of Dave,” Zalaski said. “He’ll carry on the work I’ve done in the last ten years.”
In the 16th district of the state senate, incumbent Republican Joe Markley was elected to another term. In Southington, he had 11,275 votes while challenger John “Corky” Mazurek, a former state representative, had 8,975 votes. Mazurek won the district’s portion of Waterbury handily, leaving the results close until the votes of Cheshire, Wolcott and Prospect residents were added and ultimately put Markley over the top.
“Corky was a strong opponent and the result in Waterbury certainly reflected that,” Markley said. “It was tough. I am very pleased and relieved.”
In the 80th district, Republican Rob Sampson was elected to his second term. Southington voters supported him with 1,815 votes while his challenger, Wolcott Town Councilor Chuck Marsella, had 1,225 votes.
Democrat Joe Aresimowicz was unchallenged and thus assured another term in the 30th district, while as of press time it appeared that Republican Al Adinolfi, who now represents a small portion of Southington, had won re-election in the 103rd district.
In a bit of good news for local officials, the referendum to spend $11 million on various road and bridge improvements was overwhelmingly approved by the voters. 12,791 voters were in favor of the proposal while 6,263 were against it.
“Our roads are a huge part of the town’s assets,” said Town Council Chairman John Dobbins. “The voters have given us the opportunity to prove that and in the long run, this will save the town a lot of money.”