UPDATE: Pam Staneski won the Republican primary Tuesday to run for the State Senate 14th District seat in November, defeating the party’s endorsed candidate, Anthony Giannattasio, by almost two to one, according to preliminary results.
“These numbers are unreal,” said Staneski’s supporter Richard Dowin as numbers were tallied Tuesday night.
According to the Secretary of State’s website Staneski garnered 2,791 votes and Giannattasio received 1,520 votes. The 14th District includes Milford, Orange and parts of West Haven and Woodbridge.
In Milford alone, the vote was 1,735 for Staneski and 924 for Giannattasio, according to preliminary results.
Staneski is currently state representative of the 119th District. She decided to run for the State Senate seat after Democratic incumbent Gayle Slossberg said she would not seek reelection.
But Staneski lost her party’s backing to run for the post during a Republican convention in May, when Giannattasio defeated her and Michele Gregorio in a three-way race.
Staneski said immediately she would wage a primary.
A chance to represent the 14th District means a chance to represent more people, Staneski said Tuesday night, as the numbers rolled in and it was clear she had won. With a larger constituency, she said she would double the amount of time she dedicates to calling and talking to constituents, adding that “getting out and listening to people” is a key part of representing them in Hartford.
Giannattasio was taking the results well at his party headquarters, saying, “Things didn’t work out the way I planned.”
But he said he worked hard and fought on a platform of bringing change to Hartford.
“I come from a business background and we ran on the issues,” he said.
“I think out message was on point,” Giannattasio said. “I think people are eager to change.”
Giannattasio noted that he will continue to serve the people of Milford, as minority leader on the Board of Aldermen.
Barry Cohen of West Haven, who worked on Giannattasio’s campaign, said he is very proud of Giannattasio.
“People were beating him up because he was bringing up issues that nobody else wanted to bring up,” Cohen said.
Both Staneski and Giannattasio said it was a tough campaign because of the division it caused within the Republican party. But Staneski said Tuesday night she plans to be a voice for everyone in the 14th District if she wins the election in November.
Come November, Staneski will run against Democrat James Maroney for the seat.