The Courant and The New Britain Herald are reporting that Democrat Rick Lopes of New Britain, a long-time aide to DAS Commissioner Donald DeFronzo and a former alderman, won a three-way race tonight to succeed Tim O’Brien in the vacant 24th House District of New Britain and Newington.

Lopes faced Republican Peter Steele and a petitioning candidate, former state Sen. Thomas Bozek, a conservative who had previously run as a Democrat and a Republican. Lopes’ victory restores the Democrats’ 99-52 advantage in the 151-member House.

O’Brien resigned the seat after his election as mayor in November.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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