Republicans win two of five special elections

February 27, 2019

Democratic majorities in the General Assembly were affected slightly on Tuesday night, when Republicans won special elections for the state Senate and House of Representatives.

Of the five races, all for seats vacated by Democrats who accepted jobs in the Lamont administration, Democrats won three: state Senate races in East Hartford, West Hartford and a House contest representing New London.

East Haven Town Attorney Joseph Zullo, a Republican, was elected in that town, while Republican Gennaro Bizzarro upset Democrat Rick Lopes in New Britain, where Republicans declared a major win.

The Senate breakdown will now be 22-14, while the House will be 90-60, pending an upcoming special election for a now-vacant seat after Derek Slap won the special Senate election in West Hartford to replace Beth Bye, who is the new head of the state Office of Early Childhood. Saud Anwar won the post left by Tim Larson of East Hartford, who now leads the Office of Higher Education.

“With low turnout across the state, Senate Democrats won a majority of the contested special elections tonight,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney. “I am excited to continue to move the Senate Democratic agenda forward with Senator-elect Saud Anwar and Senator-elect Derek Slap in our caucus. I want to congratulate them on running energetic campaigns and earning the trust of their voters.”

“Congratulations to Saud Anwar and Derek Slap on winning their hard fought races,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “Together we will invest in economic development, support education, and fight for middle class families.”