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Westport Voters Back Murphy, Shays In Primary

WESTPORT, Conn. – Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon were victorious in Tuesday’s statewide U.S. Senate primary. Though McMahon won the Republican nomination, she was not the preferred candidate in Westport, where more Republicans voted for Chris Shays.

Shays, a former congressman, received 872 votes in Westport, official results show. McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO, won 603.

"Shays is just a great person," said resident Dana Johnson, who along with his wife, Ginny, voted Tuesday afternoon at Saugatuck Elementary School. "We feel Linda just poured so much money down the chute.”

Michael Latorre Jr., however, favored McMahon. Not only does he admire McMahon for triumphing over being bankrupt, he also said it’s time to elect someone with a fresh vision.

“You know, I met Chris, and he’s very nice, but we need new blood, and she has a lot of spunk,” Latorre said. “A lot of politicians have been around for 20 to 40 years, and we need a fresh perspective.”

On the Democratic ballot, Murphy won by a landslide in Westport with 1,018 votes to 241 votes for former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

Resident Kathy Clair was among those who voted for Bysiewicz. Clair said she believes Murphy has “a little more to pay into the system” and he can’t accomplish as much as Bysiewicz can.

“I think she’d be less political in getting things done,” Clair said.

Bysiewicz also won a vote from 28-year-old Katie McClellan, who said she understood Bysiewicz’s message more than what Murphy had to say.

On the other hand, resident Aron Holewinski, 23, voted for Murphy. He said he was impressed by Murphy’s campaign and said Murphy went “above and beyond” to make himself approachable and accessible to the public.

“Susan just seemed much less prepared,” Holewinski said. “I felt more confident I could trust my vote in his hands.”

Larry Kastriner also voted for Murphy. He chose Murphy over Bysiewicz because Murphy “is recommended by people whose judgment I trust.”

Overall, more Republicans turned out to vote in Westport. About 31 percent of the registered Republicans showed up at the polls, while almost 21 percent of registered Democrats cast their votes.

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