Winners of the New Milford area elections
The New Milford area saw incumbents and newcomers splitting victories at the Nov. 6 election.
Rep. Richard Smith, a Republican incumbent who was unopposed, won his fifth term representing the 108th District, which includes parts of New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury. He is an assistant Republican leader and ranking member of the Government and Elections Committee in the House and serves on the Judiciary and Labor and Public Employees committees.
His touts “a very active role in the fight against overspending, tax increases and initiatives that inhibit job growth.”
Here’s a look at how the contested races played out:
House District 64
Democratic challenger Maria Horn defeated Republican incumbent Brian Ohler by 55 votes.
Horn received 50.22 percent with 5,860 votes to Ohler’s 49.78 percent with 5,805 votes, according to the Secretary of the State.
“In a close election such as this, it is truly the case that every vote counted, every volunteer made an impact, and every conversation mattered,” Horn wrote to her supporters the day after the election. “That includes the many conversations I have had with those who may have supported my opponent: I have learned from all of you and look forward to continuing that conversation as we begin the work ahead.”
Ohler said he will help with the transition.
House District 67
Republican Bill Buckbee won a second term representing New Milford, defeating Democratic challenger Tom O’Brien.
Buckbee received nearly 58 percent, with 5,660 votes and O’Brien received 42 percent with 4,150 votes.
“It’s amazing and wonderful to know we have the support of the town to continue the great work we started,” Buckbee said. “I’m unbelievably humbled.”
Buckbee, 46, is the executive director at Harrybrooke Park. He campaigned on a platform of retaining and attracting business, as well as reducing the tax burden by cutting state spending. He’s also hoping to restore passenger rail to the area.
House District 69
Republican incumbent Arthur O’Neill beat Democratic challenger Greg Cava in the race for the state House’s 69th District.
O’Neill earned 7,036 votes to Cava’s 4,745 votes.
“I’m glad the voters of the 69th District have chosen me to be their representative,” he said.
O’Neill , a Southbury resident, is he House’s longest-serving GOP member. Cava, a Roxbury resident, is a member of the Region 12 Board of Education.
O’Neill called for reducing taxes to make the state more business-friendly, and for reducing spending by extending the wage freeze for state employees and cutting the budgets of some state agencies.
Senate District 24
First-time Democratic candidate Julie Kushner upset state Sen. Mike McLachlan for state Senate.
Kushner received about 54 percent, or 17,200 votes, and McLachlan received about 46 percent, or 14,700 votes.
Although Kushner and McLachlan agreed the state is at a “crossroads,” they offered sharply different visions of Connecticut’s future.
Kushner’s progressive campaign focused on issues such as expanding health care access, and providing pay equity and paid family leave to attract and retain more people to stabilize Connecticut’s financial future.
“I felt like we were building a movement,” Kushner told her supporters on election night. “It’s something bigger in Danbury. It’s about coming together as a community and saying we are one community.”
Senate District 30
Republican Craig Miner will serve another term after defeating Democrat challenger David Lawson.
Miner received about 53 percent, or 22,750 votes, and Lawson received 46.1 percent or 19,500 votes, the Secretary of State said.
Miner, 62, of Litchfield, just finished his first term in the state Senate.He previously served eight terms as the state representative for the 66th District.
“I’m happy again to have the support of the majority of the district,” Miner said. “In some ways it is a recognition for the hard work I put in for the position.”
Miner ran to fix the state’s fiscal problems.
Senate District 32
Republican incumbent Eric Berthel will serve his first full term representing the 32nd district.
Berthel, who won the seat during a special election last year, beat out first-time challenger Cathy De Carli, a Democrat.
Berthel received 61 percent, or 27,600 votes, and DeCarli received nearly 40 percent, or 17,500 votes.
“I think it speaks to what we’ve held true here in this part of Connecticut,” Berthel said. “We’re pretty conservative thinkers...it speaks to our conservative values and the people we represent.”
Berthel, a Watertown resident, has said reducing wasteful spending, lowering taxes and opposing tolls would be his priorities in Hartford.