Yesterday, over 5000 voters — 47.5% of all who voted in the towns of East Hampton, East Haddam, and Salem — chose to preserve democracy and truth in elections, to protect a woman’s right to choose her own destiny, and to safeguard the environment for future generations. They embraced policies such as affordable housing, safe gun laws, LGBTQ rights, and many other policies which serve people in keeping with the norms of civilized society. Nevertheless, our campaign, along with those of most other statewide Democratic candidates in the 34th CT House District, was bested, but not by much.
Thanks for this terrific outpouring of citizen conscience at the polls go especially to my wife Amalia who worked long hours for months on all levels of the campaign since it began in May with the primary. Susan Kinsman was also essential to nearly delivering the pink slip of voter disapproval to a two-term incumbent. Susan’s multiple political skills were, and are, invaluable. There were many key people in this campaign: DTC heads Barbara Moore, Rob Smith, and TJ Butcher, and East Haddam’s own grande dame of the Democratic Party, Mary Ellen Klink, who “passed the torch” to me early on. Volunteers Kevin Reich, Margy Roberts, Cynthia Deming, Mandy Starballa, Skye Garafolo, Pete Giovert, Carrie Santori, Martha Cohen, and many others helped with the canvass or driving for thousands of homes in the three towns. Thanks to our photographer Liz Palmieri, our ad man Dan Zimmerman, and our sign man Anthony Valentino. Thanks to David Bingham, Gary Closius, and Hugh McKenny for indispensable help in Salem. I am indebted as well to Representative Christine Palm of the 36th House District for generously mentoring me in a new undertaking, and to State Senator Norm Needleman whose kind advice will not be forgotten. I congratulate these two public servants on their victories. I want to thank Nick Menapace who ran for the 37th, and with whom I shared the re-districted town of Salem, for his unwavering decency and commitment to the political process as a social studies teacher and candidate. Also, senator-elect Martha Marx of the 20 Senate District whose persistence in getting there is inspirational. Last and not least, thanks to Mark Thiede of Two Wrasslin' Cats in East Haddam for letting us use his special space since June. What can I say? Mark, you're the coolest cat!
Our commitment to the residents of the 34th District will not end now. The Democratic Town Committees of the three towns will work together to advocate for policies that serve all residents. I have made so many friends and earned their trust. Thank you, everyone. Our work together has only begun.