By SHERIDAN CYR
Southington’s unofficial results from the 2018 midterm state election on Nov. 6 came hot off the printer in the Town Clerk’s office just after midnight, but by 1 a.m. the governor’s race at the state level was too close to call. So was the the race between Diane Pagano (R) and Liz Linehan (D) in the 103rd house district.
In the 30th district, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D) edged Mike Gagliardi (R) by such a small margin that it could trigger an automatic recount.
In Connecticut, recounts are automatically triggered when overall results are within 20 votes or one half of one percent (0.5 %) of the votes cast. The head moderator in each town has five business days to complete the recount.
Southington voters overwhelmingly supported gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski (R) and lieutenant governor Joe Markley (R) over the Democratic choice, Ned Lamont for governor and Susan Bysiewicz for lieutenant governor in a state race that was still too close to call.
Chris Murphy (D) beat Matthew Corey (R) in the race for U.S. Senator at the state level, but Southington voters showed their support for Corey.
Incumbent John Larson (D) will maintain his seat in Congress, but Southington voters put Republican challenger Jennifer Nye above Larson.
Southington voters overall supported Republican Rob Sampson for the 16th senatorial seat over Democratic opponent Vickie Nardello. Sampson also won at the state level.
Republican John Fusco will keep his seat as the 81st district state representative.
Southington voters supported Republican candidate Mike Gagliardi for the 30th house district over incumbent Joe Aresimowicz (D), but at the state level, merely 19 votes separated the two candidates according to the unofficial results, with Aresimowicz on top.
In the 80th house district, Southington voters supported Republican candidate Gale Mastrofrancesco over Democrat Dave Borzellino. She was supported at the state level.
Southington voters supported challenger Pagano (R) over incumbent Linehan (D) in the race for 103rd house district, but it was too close to call by 1 a.m. at the state level.
Officials noted this election was an important one both locally and across the country.
“It was very encouraging at the polls today,” said Bob Berkmoes, chair of the Southington Democratic Town Committee on Tuesday. “I think the presidential election woke people up, and I think voters understand that they have to be focused, and have to pay attention to how our government is going to be run, because there’s a lot that depends on each individual voter.”
Berkmoes said he was excited to see both women and younger voters stepping up to the plate in this election.
“We’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about our party, and what we stand for, and what we’re doing, which is absolutely terrific,” said Berkmoes.
Republican Town Committee chair Steve Kalkowski also reported confidence and excitement on Election Day.
“I feel really good about the Republican slate and our chance to ‘Take Back CT,’” he said. “We are running on a platform of smaller government, bringing businesses and jobs to Connecticut and a phase out of the income tax based on financial targets and outcomes.”
Kalkowski said he would be keeping a close watch on the 30th district house race between Gagliardi and Aresimowicz. He disagreed with the incumbent’s support of the SEBAC agreement, which Kalkowski said has crippled the state financially.
“The people of Connecticut want change, and Lamont and the Democrat platform of raising taxes and taking more from the hardworking citizens of our state is not where we need to go,” said Kalkowski.
By the time the Southington Observer’s Tuesday deadline rolled around, the results of the four referendum questions on Southington residents’ ballots had not been distributed. There were two state referendum questions and two local. The local questions asked voters if they would support an appropriation of $2 million for acquisition of land for open space purposes, and a second appropriation of $2.6 million for costs related to replacement of portions of the Southington High School roof.
Official results for the individual races and the local referendums will be posted online as they become available. Visit us online at www.SouthingtonObserver.com.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.