When the dust cleared Wednesday morning it looked like Democrats in the Connecticut House and Senate would maintain their majorities by almost the exact same margins they had going into the election.
Going to the polls Tuesday, Democrats held a 97-54 majority in the House and a 23-13 majority in the Senate. Democrats in the Senate were able to increase their majority to 24-12 and the House held steady at 97-54 before any recounts.
House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said they anticipated picking up five to six seats so it doesn’t change the makeup of the chamber, “but I am pleased we held almost all of our incumbents.”
He said it’s interesting that Republicans continue to make gains in blue collar communities and Democrats are increasingly becoming the party of the rich and the poor and “they will have to legislate from those extremes.”
There are at least three Senate seats that are still too close to call and it looks like Democrats lost four and picked up four in the House. Republicans in the House believe they were able to flip four seats.
“While there are still some races too close to call, this election showed the people of Connecticut overwhelmingly support Democratic leadership of the state. We look forward to working with the House and Governor Lamont with a clear mandate to continue our policies and deliver results for all of our communities,” Senate President Martin Looney and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said.
As of Wednesday morning it looked as if Sen. Mae Flexer was able to hold onto her seat in the Senate, but that Republicans picked up the 35th Senate District seat in the race between Coventry Democrat Lisa Thomas and Woodstock Republican Jeff Gordon and the 8th Senate District seat in the race between Democrat Paul Honig and Avon Republican Lisa Seminara. It looks like they also held onto the 36th Senate seat held by Ryan Fazio, who won the seat in a special election.
There are expected to be recounts in the 8th and the 36th.
It also looks like the gains Democrats made after the 2018 and 2020 elections in Fairfield County have not only held, but expanded.
Democrats now control all three House districts in Greenwich. They captured two traditionally Republican seats with the election of Rachel Khanna who defeated Republican Kim Fiorello and Hector Arzeno who beat Republican Peter Sherr.
House Speaker Matt Ritter said state House races are very unique. He said he understands the trend has been away from local politics to more national politics, but there is something to be said for the relationships that are built in a district of 25,000 voters.
“If there’s one seat you can hold at the statewide level that you can cut against the grain a little bit nationally it’s state rep,” Ritter said. “You have the ability to knock on doors and meet 10,000 voters. You can do it with a really good campaign.”
As for the results, “We ran on our fiscal record of balanced budgets, historic tax cuts and strong budget reserves as well as generational issues like choice, mental health and education – and we had great candidates. I look forward to working with the new House Democratic Caucus and the entire House membership as we prepare for the 2023 legislative session. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”