Leone retains Senate seat in District 27
STAMFORD — Democrat incumbent Carlo Leone has won another term representing District 27 in the Connecticut Senate, defeating Republican challenger Gerald Bosak Jr., a longtime player in city politics who was running for a statewide seat for the first time.
At Democratic headquarters at the Sheraton Hotel, Leone said his camp was feeling good.
“Both of us ran a good race and left it all on the table for voters to decide,” Leone said. “And I’m glad I was on the right side of the voters.”
Voting tallies were still not available late Tuesday night.
Bosak said he was struck by the level of citizen participation in Tuesday’s election.
“I am humbled and I am so enthusiastic about the number of people who came out today to vote, and by the number of people engaged in the process,” said Bosak, 53.
The election holds a message for the city’s political parties, Bosak said.
“The parties really need to engage the public, to put out more information on the issues,” he said. “New voters might want to get involved, and if the parties help them know the issues, they may vote for the candidate, not just a party, which would benefit the community.”
In a district dominated by Democrats, Leone, 55, spent eight years in the state House of Representatives followed by eight years in the state Senate. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2016 with 65 percent of the vote.
An Air Force veteran and married father of a Westhill High School student, Leone works as an outreach specialist with The WorkPlace, a Bridgeport agency where he helps find housing for homeless veterans. He is a former financial analyst with Xerox Corp.
Helping veterans has been a legislative priority, Leone has said. His other focuses have been protecting social services, creating a better business climate, and pushing a requirement that high schools teach personal finances. Leone has said his strengths include his experience navigating the state Capitol and having the relationships needed to deliver for District 27.
Bosak served nine years in Stamford government — eight on the Board of Finance and one on the Board of Education. Bosak is co-owner with his father of Bosak Funeral Home, one of Stamford’s oldest businesses.
Bosak has said he saw the workings of the state from the municipal end, where he learned budgeting processes, labor contract negotiations, how to win education grants for the city, and the importance of working with the opposing party. A former residential counselor, Bosak has said his priorities include mental health services, senior services, controlling spending, and supporting small businesses.
Green Party candidate Cora Santaguida, a driving instructor, was also on the ballot after running for state Senate two years ago, winning 2.4 percent of the District 27 vote. A justice of the peace, she is co-chairwoman of the Ballot Access Committee of the Green Party of the United States.
Santaguida’s campaign manager has said her priority issues are affordable housing, legalizing marijuana, and creating a public bank in Connecticut. Such banks offer low-interest loans to small businesses, students and others.
District 27 has roughly 20,900 registered Democrats, 8,800 Republicans and 18,700 unaffiliated voters, according to the registrars. There are 50 to 100 registered Green Party members.
The district runs roughly from Broad Street downtown, follows Washington Boulevard and runs along High Ridge to just north of the Merritt Parkway. It includes the southern portion of Darien.