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Hwang Leads Fairfield's Incumbents Back To Hartford

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick and Fairfield Republican Town Committee Chairman James Millington celebrate GOP victories in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Surrounded by his family, Fairfield state Sen. Tony Hwang thanks supporters gathered at Flipside after Tuesday's election. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
State Rep. Laura Devlin thanks her supporters Tuesday after the polls closed in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, center, talks with First Selectman Michael Tetreau, left, at Democratic campaign headquarters in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield voted to send its mostly Republican legislative delegation back to Hartford on Tuesday, led by state Sen. Tony Hwang, D-28, who vowed to work across party lines for a better Connecticut.

“We should always put people before politics,” he told his clapping fans at a victory party at Flipside Burgers and Bar. “We need to move together and heal because there’s far too much that needs to be done.”

Republican state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, an incumbent, bested her Democratic challenger, Dru Georgiadis, in State House District 132, and Laura Devlin, also a GOP incumbent, beat Frederick Garrity, Jr. in the 134th District.

The lone Democrat on the delegation, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, retained her 133rd District seat against a GOP bid by Representative Town Committee member Ray Neuberger.

Democrat Matt Waggner and Republican Steve Elworthy were elected as unopposed contenders for Registrar of Voters.

Earlier in the evening, Hwang’s opponent, Fairfield Board of Education Chair Philip Dwyer, waited for poll results at the Democratic headquarters on Commerce Drive.

“I”m not in the prediction game,” he said, noting the district historically swings Republican.

He said many voters were interested in his views on gun violence prevention, taxes, job development and Planned Parenthood.

“Anytime I can go out and talk to the people up and down the district, I find they have unique concerns, but there’s a lot in common,” he said.

McCarthy Vahey said she spent much of the day in a state of “nervous excitement,” in part because of the historic presidential election taking place.

“It’s hard not to think about what’s happening at the national level,” she said.

She traveled across her district all day Tuesday, arriving at campaign headquarters around 8:30 p.m.

“Election Day is one of my favorite days of the year,” she said. “It’s a community event, and it’s one of the best parts of our democracy. It’s a privilege.”

Her opponent, Neuberger, congratulated her and wished her well, telling supporters at Flipside it was “a tough loss.”

He thanked supporters, notably the many college and high school students who campaigned for him, for their hard work.

“I believe in representative democracy even if sometimes it doesn’t believe in me,” he said with a laugh.

Kupchick said she was thankful for the support and trust of the people of Fairfield, especially in light of what some called negative campaigning from the other side.

“It feels awesome,” she said. “(The voters) weren’t swayed by this.”

Earlier in the evening, Georgiadis said she spent the day hugging those who told her they’ve given her the nod. She said she was overwhelmed by the support and help she received throughout the campaign.

“Everyone’s been so generous with their time,” she said. “I gave out a lot of hugs today.”

Devlin said she believes hard work over the last two years helped her win her seat again.

“Our message of change needed out of Hartford resonated,” she said.

For the U.S. House, Rep. Jim Himes, a Democrat, defeated a challenge from Republican John Shaban of Redding, who did not run for re-election to the State House due to his Congressional run.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, won re-election by topping Republican challenger Dan Carter of Bethel. Carter did not seek re-election to the State House due to his Senate run.

As Kupchick was speaking at Flipside, the sound of a breaking glass rang through the room.

“Is that good luck?” she asked the crowd.

“Mazel tov!” someone yelled.

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