Republicans and Democrats split the local races in Milford, with Democrats winning the state Senate race and the 118th District race, and Republicans taking the 117th and the 119th House districts, according to preliminary, unofficial results.
At Republican headquarters Tuesday night, party members watched with bated breath, occasional cheers and sudden gasps as their state Senate candidate, Pam Staneski, battled Democrat James Maroney on the wall-posted vote tally sheet. Staneski gave up her seat as state representative in the 119th District to run for the Senate seat, vacated by Democrat Gayle Slossberg. And the numbers kept flipping: One minute Staneski was up, the next Maroney was in the lead in a tight race. As the numbers continued to roll in, Maroney took the lead.
“James won!” said Democratic Town Committee Chairman Rich Smith via text at about 11 p.m., after absentee ballots had been factored in.
Republican Kathy Kennedy, former president of the state PTA who never served in a political office, beat her opponent, Democrat Ellen Beatty, a city alderman with a doctorate degree in education, in the 119th District.
“I am truly humbled,” Kennedy said Tuesday night. “I met a lot of people, knocked on a lot of doors. I am honored and privileged to serve the people of Milford.”
Across the street at Democratic headquarters, Beatty addressed the crowd, telling them that despite her own loss that night, the work of the Democratic Party is just starting.
She added, “I’m sorry if I disappointed you,” which drew a collective “awwwww” from her supporters.
Republican Charles Ferraro, the incumbent in the 117th District, defeated his challenger, Democrat Cindy Wolfe Boynton. And Democrat Kim Rose, the incumbent in the 118th District, defeated her challenger, Republican Connie Jagodzinski.
“I will go to Hartford and do my best to work on your behalf,” Rose told the crowd at Democratic headquarters, adding that the win was bittersweet because of the other losses on the Democratic ticket.
At GOP headquarters, Jagodzinski said she enjoyed her run, despite the loss, as others around her praised her for holding her own against Rose. “It was never about me, but for the people of Milford,” Jagodzinski said.
Incumbent Probate Judge Beverly Streit-Kefalas, a Democrat, who was also up for reelection, won against Republican challenger Chris Goulden. Streit-Kefalas, thanking fellow Democrats for their support, said she was disheartened by Democratic losses.
“We have to work every day from now until forever because we want the people to be in a better world,” she said.