Incumbent Democrats win U.S. House races
Connecticut’s members in the U.S. House of Representatives all won re-election Tuesday, all of them by large margins.
Reps. John Larson, D-1st District; Joe Courtney, D-2nd District; Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District; and Jim Himes, D-4th District, coasted to re-election, their races called by the Associated Press early in the night.
But the between Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, and her challenger, Republican Clay Cope, the first selectman of the town of Sherman, wasn’t called until almost midnight.
In the early hours of Wednesday, with 98 percent of the vote counted, Esty was declared the winner with 57.7 percent of the vote. Cope won 42.3 percent.
Esty’s biggest support came from New Britain and Cope lost the town of Sherman by 29 votes, 1,076 votes in the town went for Esty and 1,047 for Cope.
The 5th District had been considered the GOP’s best chance take back a Connecticut congressional seat.
Larson, won his tenth term representing his Hartford-based district against GOP challenger Matthew Corey. It was the third time Corey, a businessman from Manchester, tried to unseat the popular incumbent.
Another candidate, Green Party candidate Mike DeRosa, needed to win at least 1 percent to keep the Green Party on the ballot in the district in 2018. He reached that goal by winning more than 2 percent of the vote.
Larson attributed his win to the work of his staff and their services to constituents.
“People will reward you because of the outreach you do,” he said. “Constituent service is what drives a district.”
Rep. Joe Courtney defeated political novice Republican Daria Novak.
With 88 percent of the vote in, Courtney won 63.1 percent of the balloting and Novak won 33.8 percent. Green Party candidate Jonathan Pelto won 1.6 percent and Libertarian Party candidate Daniel Reale won 1.5 percent.
When Courtney was first elected in 2006, he had the slimmest margin of victory of any House election, just 83 votes. But he’s won re-elections by healthy margins since.
“In my district, the 2nd District, Courtney won big in 2008, and that scared off many future challengers,” said Ron Schurin, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro will remain the dean of the delegation, having represented the New Haven area since 1991. She defeated Republican Angel Cadena.
Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, also handily defeated his GOP rival, state Rep. John Shaban.
The Democratic Party was picking up House seats Tuesday night, but not yet enough to wrest control of the House of Representatives from the GOP. Democrats need to win 30 seats to gain control of the chamber.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told members of the Democratic caucus that FBI Director James Comey’s letter sent to Capitol Hill in late October indicating more Hillary Clinton emails were under review hurt the party’s chances to retake control of the House of Representatives.
She called the letter “out of line” but said it did help Democratic fundraising.
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