Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Humbled in Defeat, Kraut Offers an Olive Branch

Westport Republican Greg Kraut, whose campaign to unseat Democratic incumbent state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg failed Tuesday night, today offered a conciliatory note to the town and his opponent.

“While this is clearly not the result I desired, I wish Jonathan, the town of Westport and the state of Connecticut great success over the next two years,” Kraut said in a statement emailed to media.

Kraut arrived after 11 p.m. at the Little Barn Tuesday night to concede, a time later than most local concessions, which left some Democrats wondering whether he would show.

Steinberg said Kraut attended the Democratic victory party with Republican First Selectman Jim Marpe and Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker.

Kraut, a member of the Representative Town Meeting, led an aggressive campaign for the 136th Assembly District seat, faulting Steinberg as among those responsible for the state’s fiscal malaise.

The tension between the two seemed to have reached a crescendo Election Day with Kraut photographed finger pointing at a Steinberg supporter outside the Greens Farms School.  Each campaign said the dispute had been blown out of proportion.

Today, however, Kraut’s aggressive campaign style seemed to give way to graciousness.

“I am incredibly humbled by the significant support we received throughout the campaign from both Democrats and Republicans, and I am hopeful that we can all work together as Westporters to move our great state forward,” he said.

Kraut also he was glad that Connecticut’s key financial and social issues had been pushed to the forefront by the campaign.

“I have learned a lot over the course of this campaign, but the biggest take-away for me is that we need to find balance and come together in whatever we do for the common good of all Westporters,” he said.

“I look forward to remaining involved in bettering our town and our state,” Kraut added. “Congratulations to Jonathan once again.

-— James Lomuscio

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