FAIRFIELD — Democrats are claiming victory in the races for 132nd and 133rd state House districts.
Unofficial numbers from the Registrars of Voters show Democrat Jennifer Leeper defeating Republican incumbent Brian Farnen — 7,551 votes to 7,280 in the 132nd District. The numbers posted for the 133rd District show Democrat incumbent Cristin McCarthy Vahey winning with 6,531 votes to Republican Joanne Romano-Csonka’s 3,326.
Leeper said she was excited to have won after a nearly year-long campaign. She said she tried hard to focus on delivering solutions for the 132nd District.
“I’m really excited to get up to Hartford and do that work I spent so much time talking about,” Leeper said.
Cristin McCarthy Vahey said she was humbled and thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the work.
“There’s a lot of work to get done, and I love working with the people in this town,” she said. “I’m also thrilled to have Jen Leeper coming to Hartford as well, given her background and expertise.”
Farnen vs. Leeper
Farnen had won the seat in a special election in January against Leeper, though Leeper claimed it on Tuesday.
This election, Democrats again nominated Leeper, a member of the Board of Education, to flip a district Republicans have held for most of the decade.
Farnen currently serves on the state legislature’s committees on finance, education and transportation. He was a member of the Representative Town Meeting, previously serving as deputy majority leader.
A resident of Fairfield’s beach area, Farnen currently works at the Connecticut Green Bank as general counsel and chief legal officer.
Farnen said his legislative priorities are making Connecticut more affordable, properly funding Fairfield’s school system and resisting forced school regionalization as well as investing in the state’s infrastructure.
Leeper has a background in public policy and data analysis, specifically focused on education and expanding access to high-quality schools and closing the opportunity gap.
If she were to win the election, Leeper, who also lives in Fairfield’s beach area, said she would fully dedicate herself to representing the people of Fairfield and not split her time with another job.
She said her three top legislative priorities are rebuilding Connecticut’s economy, strengthening it’s education system and making the state more friendly to seniors.
McCarthy Vahey vs. Romano-Csonka
McCarthy Vahey won her fourth term in office. Her opponent, Romano-Csonka, is a former member of the Norwalk Common Council and current member of the Fairfield Affordable Housing Committee.
McCarthy Vahey previously served on the Fairfield Representative Town Meeting and the Board of Selectman. She is also the co-founder and chair of the Fairfield CARES Community Coalition, which focuses on youth substance use and suicide prevention and wellness promotion.
As a social worker and a mother, the Stratfield neighborhood resident said she brings her professional training, experience and values to her work in and outside the legislature.
McCarthy Vahey said recovering from the coronavirus pandemic was a primary legislative goal.
A former Norwalk and current Fairfield resident, Romano-Csonka has more than 25 years experience in public office. She said she spends her time caring for seniors on an as-needed basis..
In terms of legislative priorities, Romano-Csonka said she would focus on reforming affordable housing laws to make them more municipal friendly. She also said she would prioritize re-examining the recently-passed police accountability bill, which she called “hastily written.”