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Looking Back At 2016: Fairfield County's Top Political Stories Of The Year

The Trump vs. Clinton election that dominated national headlines this year also hit close to home for Fairfield County Photo Credit: YouTube
A protest group set up outside the planned Donald Trump rally in July at Sacred Heart University. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Donald Trump leans over to speak to the crowd at the end of his speech at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport in April. Photo Credit: File
Crowds file out of the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport after Donald Trump's rally. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Just like the rest of the country, politics was a much-discussed topic in Fairfield County over the past year.

Presidential candidates made stops across the county in their bids for the highest office in the land, several local delegates went to party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, and residents cast their vote in record numbers this November.

Here are some of the top political stories from 2016.

Donald Trump won the election to become the 45th president. But in Fairfield County, only seven of the 23 towns had a majority of voters cast ballots for the Republican winner.

Returning lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives came out on top in November, with Fairfield County voters helping to re-elect U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal as well as U.S. Reps. Jim Himes, Elizabeth Esty and Rosa DeLauro, all incumbent Democrats. 

Every seat in the state in the State House and State Senate was also up for election this year. Click on your town for results: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Darien, Danbury, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

Mark Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son, Daniel, in the shooting at Sandy Hook School, took center stage in introducing Barack Obama in January as the president announced proposals to reduce gun violence. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who attended the White House ceremony, applauded Obama's executive actions. 

At President Barack Obama's last State of the Union Address, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called the speech "powerful" as he took a seat of honor with First Lady Michelle Obama. U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty also invited a special guest to join her at the speech, gun control advocate Gabrielle Giffords. 

Gov. Dannel Malloy delivered a grim State of the State Address as the legislature returned to work back in February. He warned of new budget practices, spending cuts and layoffs. He later proposed a budget aimed at reducing the state's budget, which included cuts to education, transportation and state parks.

Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns rolled into Bridgeport in April, drawing large crowds as they sought to drum up support for the primary. Trump returned to Fairfield in August after becoming the Republican nominee. Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Republican hopeful John Kasich also made campaign stops in Fairfield County.

After the deadliest shooting in U.S. history in Orlando this June, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes walked out of the House Chamber during a moment of silence to protest a lack of action on gun control. And U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said politicians were "complicit" in the shooting due to inaction. Murphy then grabbed national attention as he led a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor, demanding a vote on two gun control amendments while putting the spotlight on deadly shootings from Newtown to Charleston to Orlando and beyond.

In an effort to force a vote on putting an end to gun violence and easy access to automatic weapons the entire Connecticut House delegation joined U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), in a sit-in on the House Floor.

A number of Fairfield County residents represented their political parties at the Republican and Democratic Conventions this summer. Weston Republican Town Chairman Bob Ferguson sent dispatches from Cleveland while state Rep. John Frey served as one of the convention's Sergeant-At-Arms. Democratic delegates Nina Sherwood of Stamford, Chris Yerinides of Norwalk and Barbara Reynolds of Weston shared updates from the convention in Philadelphia.

A Norwalk man who identifies as a Republican created a song parody about how the circumstances of this year's presidential election made him feel compelled to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy took center stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, telling the tale of his struggles to learn to read and write. State delegates split their votes between Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, 28 to 27 in Clinton's favor in the voting at the convention.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy walked a total of 126 miles as he hoofed it from one end of Connecticut to the other in early September. He crossed through 22 towns, with local stops at the Sterling House Community Center in Stratford, a Town Hall-style meeting at a church in Bridgeport , and a lunch with a Fairfield family. He made his final push from Darien and hit the finish line at a park in Greenwich.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton launched an exploratory committee for statewide office in the 2018 election. The eight-term Republican mayor has twice sought the Republican nomination for governor and was the lieutenant governor running mate when Tom Foley ran for governor in 2010.

President-Elect Donald Trump has selected Linda McMahon of Greenwich, a founder of the Stamford-based WWE, to be the head of the Small Business Administration.

A caricature artist from Darien finds inspiration in political figures, and has presented many famous political personalities with the likenesses of them that he has created.

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