Although she has yet to deliver a victory speech, state Sen. Toni Boucher has reclaimed her seat in the 26th District, successfully fighting off Democratic challenger John Hartwell.
Official election results from the Associated Press show that Boucher, a Wilton resident, received 25,419 votes -- 61 percent of the total cast. Hartwell, a Westport resident, garnered 16,198 votes, or 31 percent. District 26 includes Westport, Wilton, Weston, New Canaan, Bethel, Redding, and Ridgefield.
"Overall, I was very pleased by the results last night," Hartwell said in a phone interview, referring to the big wins for state democrats. "I knew [the contest between himself and Boucher] would be a difficult race: She's the incumbent and she's well known in the district. She ran a strong campaign, she worked very hard and when you do, you deserve to win. I sent her an e-mail message last night congratulating her."
Hartwell, an international management consultant, ran against Boucher in 2008 when the seat was vacated by Republican Judi Freedman. Hartwell said in that election he received 42 percent of votes. Although his numbers dropped, he said he ran his campaign as best he could.
"I'm very pleased with our messaging, but hers won and mine lost," he said. "But maybe I had the wrong message. Maybe I was swimming upstream in a Republican pool against a very strong opponent. We could have had a more active presence on the ground, but you do what can with the people you've got."
According to the results, Boucher won big in every town in the district: the closest race was in Westport where she received 51 percent with 5,727 votes and Hartwell won 49 percent with 5,425 votes. In Wilton, Boucher led with 5,295 votes to Hartwell's 2,222. In New Canaan, she won 2,586 votes and Hartwell received 1,021. And in Weston, she won 353 to 280.
Before winning the seat in 2008, Boucher served as the state representative from the 143rd District for 12 years.
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