Incumbents roll in Bridgeport area state Senate races

Incumbents from both parties were able to beat back challengers and in races for area state Senate seats. In the greater Bridgeport area, six incumbents won their races, and most of them took a comfortable margin of victory.

Maroney wins

In the 14th District, Democratic incumbent James Maroney defeated challenger Kim-Marie Mullin by 10 percentage points. According to unofficial numbers from the secretary of the state, Maroney received 21,608 votes to Mullin's 17,704. 

The upcoming term will be Maroney's third representing the district, which includes parts of Orange, West Haven and Milford.

Second term for Cabrera

In the 17th District, State Sen. Jorge Cabrera, a Democrat, beat back Republican challenger Kathy Hoyt by just over 9 percentage points to win a second term.

The district includes parts of Derby, Ansonia, Woodbridge, Hamden, Bethany, Beacon Falls and Naugatuck.

Kelly rolls in 21st

Longtime incumbent Republican Kevin Kelly won reelection in the 21st District, defeating political newcomer Christopher Green by about 5,000 votes. Kelly previously ran unopposed in 2020.

He said he would continue to focus on making life more affordable for residents during his victory speech.

"I will not back down in my pursuit of a better way to make Connecticut more affordable, to make health care more affordable, to support those most in need, and to create an environment where opportunity thrives," Kelly said.

The district includes parts of Monroe, Shelton, Stratford and Seymour.

Moore wins in 22nd

Democratic incumbent Marilyn Moore won a landslide in the 22nd District, racking up more than 80 percent of the vote, according to unofficial totals. Lacking a Republican challenger, Moore dispatched Independent Party candidate Wilfredo Martinez, who received just under 20 percent of the ballots cast.

Moore previously said to Hearst Connecticut Media she won because voters are satisfied with her work.

"I think the people are happy with me," she said, adding constituents were focused on economic issues. "The price of gas. How are they gonna feed their family? And I understand and want to do everything I can to help them," she said.

The district includes Trumbull and parts of Bridgeport and Monroe

Gaston wins 3-way race

Democrat Herron Gaston emerged victorious in a 3-way race for the 23rd District seat.

Gaston defeated Republican Michael Garrett and Working Families Party candidate Juliemar Ortiz, according to previous reporting from Hearst Connecticut Media.

Despite the three way race, Gaston still managed to collect nearly 75 percent of the votes, according to unofficial numbers reported to the secretary of the state. Gaston was making his first run for state office, having unseated fellow Democrat Dennis Bradley in a primary.

Ortiz had originally attempted to enter the Democratic primary in the district before accepting the Working Families endorsement.

Gaston said his victory is a sign people are ready for a change.

"I hope to be that change agent and to live up to the expectations of our voters," he said. "There's a lot of work to do, and I believe that I'm uniquely positioned to be the voice that the community so desperately needs."

Maher beats former state sen. in 26th

Democrat Ceci Maher also won her first race, beating former Republican state Sen. Toni Boucher by about 14 percentage points. Maher ran on preventing gun violence, women's rights and environmental protection. Boucher had previously held the seat from 2008 to 2018. But redistricting gave the district a more Democratic lean.

The district includes parts of Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding, Weston and Westport.

Maher said she won because voters agreed with her stances.

"I'm tremendously honored that everyone voted to choose me as their next state senator and that they shared in my vision for a Connecticut of the future, working on continuing to protect women's rights, keeping classrooms safe and preventing gun violence, working to mitigate climate change and to preserve our state," Maher said.

Another term for Hwang

Republican incumbent Tony Hwang defeated his Democratic challenger Timothy Gavin by just under 2 percentage points. Hwang was previously asked what he would focus on if he won reelection. He responded saying he would focus on addressing inflation and reducing income taxes for the middle and working class.

The district includes parts of Fairfield, Newtown, Bethel and Easton.

Berthel wins big in 32nd

Republican incumbent Eric Berthel handily defeated Democratic candidate Jeff Desmarais, declaring victory just over an hour after polls closed.

Unofficial results showed Berthel received 27,962 votes and Desmarais got 19,418. This is the second time Desmarais ran against Berthel who he previously challenged in 2020.

Berthel said voters were most concerned about the economy.

"The voters of the 32nd District heard our message loud and clear regarding the real issues in Connecticut," said Berthel. 

The district covers Bethel, Brookfield, Southbury, Bridgewater, Washington, Roxbury, Bethlehem, Woodbury, Watertown, Middlebury, Oxford and Seymour.

Austin Mirmina, Brian Lockhart, Brian Gioele, Sandra Diamond Fox, Josh LaBella, Claire Racine, Brian Zahn, J D Freda, and 
Liz Hardaway, contributed reporting.