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NewsPolitics

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Democrats Win Big in Westport

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By James Lomuscio

UPDATE Westport Democrats won big tonight with townwide victories for President Barack Obama, U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy, U.S. Congressman Jim Himes and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.

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Victorious Democrat state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (c) addresses supporters tonight at Democratic headquarters flanked by Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (l) and defeated Republican challenger Steve Rubin. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com

Democratic losses included challenger Carolanne Curry’s unsuccessful bid to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Toni Boucher in the 26th District by a close Westport vote of 6,169 to 6,024, or 51 to 49 percent, but a district tally of 23,766 to 17,349, or 58 to 42 percent.

And Republican Gail Lavielle beat Wilton Democratic Selectman Ted Hoffstatter for the 143rd House seat, which includes a western part of Westport by a 574 to 477 vote in Westport, or 55 to 45 percent, and 4,502 to 2,754 district tally, or 62 to 38 percent.

In Westport, Obama bested Romney by 8,494 to 6,439, or 56 to 43 percent, close to the statewide 57 to 42 percent total, according to unofficial results.

For the U.S. Senate, Murphy beat Linda McMahon by 8,341 to 6,106 in Westport, or 57 to 42 percent, better than the statewide total of 54 to 44 percent,

And Himes defeated Republican Steve Obsitnik, a Westport resident, for the 4th Congressional District by a 8,467 to 6,057 Westport vote, or 58 to 42 percent, better than the district 56 to 44 percent tally.

“This is a Democratic sweep, a Democratic sweep for Westport,” said a bullish Jim Ezzes, chairman of the Democratic Town Committee.

By 9 p.m. Republican challenger Stephen Rubin conceded to incumbent Steinberg who was seeking his second term for the 136th House District seat after unofficial results showed him losing by 7,398 to 5,740, or 56 to 44 percent.

Rubin, a member of the Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) who defeated a former RTM colleague, remained upbeat despite the loss, quipping, “This is not shiva.”

“Go to Hartford and make us proud,” he told Steinberg at the Democratic headquarters in Playhouse Square.

“Let me congratulate both men,” said Democratic First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. “They’re both good friends of mine, and I was torn on a personal level. But, Westport wins by having Jonathan in Hartford and by having Steve on the RTM.”

The mood at Republican headquarters on Riverside Avenue was less upbeat.

“I think we fielded a great set of candidates nationally and locally, and they offered an alternative,” said Jim Marpe, acting chairman of the Board of Education. “I’m many cases it was an uphill battle, but our candidates have waged great campaigns.”

Marpe also took the opportunity to announce his own upcoming campaign for First Selectman and said that he would resign from the school board at Monday night’s meeting.

As all eyes focused on the television screen at Republican headquarters to see how Republican Gov. Mitt Romney was doing against Obama, Marpe said, “I’m cautious.”

Republican Avi Kaner, chairman of the Board of Finance, qualified that comment.

“I’m a little better than cautiously optimistic,” he said.

The Town Clerk’s Office said there was an 83 percent turnout, lower than the 91 percent projected by the Registrar of Voters Office earlier in the day.

Posted 11/07 at 03:26 AM 

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