Staneski claims victory over incumbent Maroney in 119th district

Pam Staneski and fellow Republicans were celebrating a Staneski win over incumbent Democrat James Maroney in the 119th district Tuesday night, while Democrats were a little hesitant to concede the race at about 11:30 p.m.

While numbers show Staneski winning over Maroney with 3,556 votes to 3,419, not counting absentee ballots, Democratic Town Committee Chairman Rich Smith said he thought it was too early to call the race.

“But it’s probably not going to go our way,” Smith said.

At GOP headquarters, the mood was definitely definitive, with Staneski and Republican Town Committee Chairman Paul Beckwith claiming victory in the 119th.

“I expected this race to be close and it was close,” said Staneski, who ran for the seat twice in the past, losing to Richard Roy and then to Maroney. “I got out to more doors this time, knocked on over 5,000 doors and I heard over and over again that people wanted change.

“Starting tomorrow,” Staneski said, “I'll begin addressing the concerns of my constituents and will continue to knock on doors to hear how best we can serve their needs in Hartford.”

Beckwith said Staneski will bring a breath of fresh air to Hartford.

“She was a fantastic candidate and the constituents of the 119th district will be rewarded by her representing them in Hartford,” Beckwith said.

At 11:30 p.m. it looked like the Democrats lost a second seat: Incumbent Democrat Paul Davis was trailing Republican Charles Ferraro by about 170 votes in the 117th district, with some polling numbers not in yet and not counting absentee ballots.

On Wednesday, Beckwith said Seth Haley in West Haven put Ferraro over the top in the 117th district race, although according to Milford City Clerk Joanne Rohrig, results are not official yet.

The Democrats carried three local races. Incumbent State Rep. Kim Rose won in the 118th district against challenger Ray Vitali. State Senator Gayle Slossberg was confident she had won reelection, with Milford polls putting her at 9,471 to challenger Matt Gaynor’s 7,644 and numbers still coming in from West Haven, Orange and Woodbridge, which the 14th state Senate seat also represents.

Probate Judge Beverly Streit-Kefalas, a Democrat, won over her challenger, Thomas Miller, according to preliminary numbers.

Despite those wins, local Democrats noted that even in the races they carried the Republican challengers made a good showing, closing the gap on what had been bigger victories in the past.

One Democrat, Walter Sawicki, noted the large number of votes for political newcomer Matt Gaynor in the state Senate race, and wondered if the 20-year-old had drawn more young voters to the polls to support him.

Slossberg said she thinks the large number of GOP votes indicate that people are unhappy with some things that have taken place at the state level, and she speculated that the gubernatorial race trickled down to the other races. In Milford, preliminary numbers had Foley leading Malloy 8,849 votes to 8,291.

“Clearly people appreciate the hard work we have done locally, but also clearly, people are telling us they are discontent,” Slossberg said.

Gaynor had positive words after the votes were in, despite his defeat.

“We are glad with the numbers we got tonight and hope the results will encourage Senator Slossberg to bring some of the ideas I discussed during the campaign to Hartford,” Gaynor said.

Beckwith said Tuesday was a big step for the Republican Party in Milford.

“We ran four excellent candidates and though three may have lost, they all ran great campaigns, they all had great ideas,” Beckwith said. “We're excited for Pam and look forward to her representing the people of Milford in Hartford.”

He said the election here shows that people wanted change.

“If you want changes you have to make changes,” Beckwith said.