Wilton Candidates, Political Leaders Respond Post Election Day
We’ve collected the responses of local candidates and political officials following the results from Tuesday’s Election Day voting.
Tom Dubin, Democratic Town Committee chair
“Wilton Democrats are celebrating the results of yesterday’s elections. It was a tremendous night for Democrats, and Wilton played a major role in that success. We have helped Democrats retain control of Hartford, and have helped return a Democratic majority to the State Senate with Will Haskell’s stunning victory over Toni Boucher.
“Although Republicans retain a numbers advantage over Democrats in Wilton, we are thrilled with our results and recent momentum. Four years ago the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Wilton defeated his Democratic candidate by 17%; this year the difference shrunk to 3%. And we actually flipped to victories for Chris Murphy and Jim Himes. Ross Tartell and Stephanie Thomas did not win their races for State House, but their results were closer than anyone imagined many months ago. The secret sauce to our progress is the large group of enthusiastic volunteers who have become energized to do all they can to ensure the best future for Wilton, Hartford and Washington.
“Bill Lalor and the Republican Town Committee ran energetic campaigns, and although we may disagree on several policy matters we thank them for being an important part of what makes Wilton a wonderful town. Wilton Democrats also thank Toni Boucher for her years of energetic service to Wilton, the 26th District, and Connecticut.”
Bill Lalor, Republican Town Committee Chair
“Needless to say, we wish many of the results Tuesday were different, although we are happy Gail Lavielle and Tom O’Dea will be back representing Wilton and glad we could help Toni Boucher and Bob Stefanowski win Wilton. But we congratulate Democrats for their hard-fought, successful races and wish them the best. Democrats in Wilton were organized and worked hard for their candidates, and it paid off.”
Will Haskell, Elected to serve as State Senator, 26th District
“I’m incredibly honored to have earned the trust and support of voters in the 26th district. As I told Senator Boucher Tuesday night, I’m grateful for her years of service to the State of Connecticut. Over the last eight months, I’ve been endlessly inspired by the optimism of our community. I’m ready to help move Connecticut forward by working across the aisle to fight gun violence and invest in our infrastructure. It’s time to work together to foster effective and forward-thinking leadership.”
Gail Lavielle, Re-Elected to serve as State Representative, 143rd District
“There is broad acknowledgment that there was widespread party-line voting in the Fairfield County legislative races. In that context, I feel very humbled that the voters in my district looked beyond that to consider my work for them on its merits. Going forward, I will continue to be attentive to their concerns, and to address them as effectively as possible.”
Toni Boucher, Unseated in her Re-election Campaign for State Senator, 26th District
“I would like to congratulate Will Haskell for running a strong campaign and wish him much success in his new role as state senator for the 26th district. It is a big responsibility and I am sure he will devote his energies to serving the people well. I am deeply thankful to the voters for having given me the rare and extraordinary honor of serving them here at home, on local boards and in the legislature in Hartford. I have always put every ounce of passion, commitment and energy into these roles with the ultimate objective of serving my constituents well. Coming here as an immigrant with no money, education and not speaking a word of English at the age of 5, CT has had an incredible positive impact on my life and I am forever grateful. Thank you also to my family, wonderful husband and the many volunteers who stuck with me through this tough campaign season and over the years . I could not do this without you. You have my eternal gratitude. Thank you.“
Larry Cafero, Republican Candidate for Judge of Probate
“I congratulate Doug Stern on his victory and wish him well in his new position. Taking nothing away from Doug however, many, if not most of the Republican losses in this area were a result of a back lash or referendum on the President. In Norwalk and in Wilton, state and local considerations took a back seat to national issues. Even the state and national economy were overlooked by many in order to “send a message to Trump.” Again, in Norwalk and Wilton at least, the message was loud and clear and we as a community now have to accept and live with its consequences. We as Republicans must learn from those lessons and act accordingly. I thank all of those volunteers in Norwalk and Wilton who volunteered on my campaign.”
Ross Tartell, Democratic Candidate for State Representative, 125th District
“I feel like the luckiest person on earth. We have worked so hard–giving time and sacrificing so much to the Democratic process. All that effort is priceless. Thank you.
“[Tuesday] night–despite coming up short on votes–we won. When I started this race, I had five goals. I wanted to make the incumbent run. We did. I wanted to show the power of a strong Democratic voice by making a very strong showing at the polls. We did. I wanted to send a message to Washington and to the Republicans that even the safest seat is not safe from Democratic challenge. We sent that message. I wanted to show the power of competence over ideology: the power of values over venom. We always took the high road, and we can be proud. And, finally, I wanted to illustrate the capacity of hard work to change people’s minds and the trajectory of people’s lives. We succeeded.
“Today we made a statement to our towns, to Connecticut, and to any citizen who believes in better. There are so many people who have stepped up to help me drive my campaign, and I am indebted to them. From my core campaign team to my tireless volunteers to the individuals who stepped up to play unique, individual roles: thank you.
“178 of you donated to my campaign, which confirmed its viability. 300 of you received regular updates from me via my distribution list, which helped us to stay the course. I had twenty door knocking drivers, thirty notecard writers (that I know of!), and multiple lawn sign organizers. I knocked on well over 4,000 doors, and you helped me knock on nearly 2,000 more. You wrote nearly 2,000 neighbor to neighbor postcards. We made countless phone calls. We had wonderful conversations. It goes on, and it happened in parallel to a fantastic slate of local candidates in Wilton and New Canaan: Stephanie Thomas, Doug Stern, Will Haskell, Lucy Dathan, and Alex Bergstein. It has been an honor to stand with them these last seven months.
“I am incredibly indebted to my Campaign Manager, Alyssa. Her drive, insight, skills, and partnership were so important to our success. Most importantly, I owe an enormous and special thanks to my wife Karen. I could not have started this incredible journey without her full support.”
Stephanie Thomas, Democratic Candidate for State Representative, 143rd District
“It’s been an honor to run as a Democrat and Working Families Party candidate for CT State Representative in the 143rd District.
“I can’t believe what we’ve been able to achieve in just a few short months, in such an incredibly close race. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and get to know thousands of my fellow neighbors, and have felt deeply the good that people yearn for — in our country, in our government, and in each other.
“I wanted to make a difference — to spark new energy into our district, to stand for those that have no voice, and we have done that. We’ve laid foundations for many issues that need tending to, that matter to all of us.
“I want to thank all the incredible volunteers, my campaign coordinator, friends and family, who lifted me up and tirelessly sustained our campaign. I also want to thank my husband Greg, who I look forward to spending time with again!
“My great hope is that in the coming months and years, Connecticut will expand voting rights and education, continue to build a new economy and environment that appeals to millennials and Gen-Z, and take care of our fiscal responsibilities once and for all, without blame or fanfare. These things we simply have to do together.
“A hearty congratulations is in order to all my fellow Democrats who have won seats up and down ballot throughout Connecticut. Congratulations also to Gail Lavielle on winning her 5th term, and I wish her and all of us the very best.
“The future of Connecticut is bright!”
Lynne Vanderslice, Wilton’s First Selectwoman
“Thank you Wilton voters for turning out in record numbers to make your voices heard in Tuesday’s elections. This level of civic engagement is vital. I encourage anyone interested to become involved in our town government, which is facilitated by over 150 resident volunteers who work together cooperatively and respectfully in the best interests of the community, making Wilton a more special place to live.
“As First Selectwoman, my focus is to ensure that the Town provides quality services at the lowest cost possible. I will continue to work with Gail Lavielle, Tom O’Dea and now, Will Haskell to make sure our local needs are fully understood and appreciated by our state representatives.
“Lastly, I want to thank Toni Boucher for her more than 30 years of service to this community as an elected member of the Board of Education, Board of Selectmen, the State House of Representatives and the State Senate.”