Farmington voters saw State Rep. Bill Wadsworth (R-21) lose his first race in seven elections Tuesday. And Democrats cheered a win they'd been waiting years for.
Democratic challenger and longtime Town Council member Mike Demicco lost to Wadsworth by just 41 votes in 2010 in a bid for the 21st House seat but on Tuesday he recovered the difference and more, with 5,885 votes recorded, to 5,134 votes for Wadsworth.
Wadsworth conceded the race after 9 p.m. though nearly 1,500 absentee ballots had yet to be counted.
"I'm humbled and honored by the confidence that the people of Farmington have shown in me. I will work every day to justify that confidence," Demicco said.
Farmington Board of Education Chairman Mary Grace Reed was among the Democrats celebrating not just a friend’s victory but what they called a victory for the town.
“Farmington just elected an education representative and I couldn’t be happier to know that someone who has represented and fought for education every day that he’s been a town councilor is now going to fight that fight for education dollars at the state level. We’re in good hands,” Reed said.
The outcome was a surprise for Wadsworth, a popular incumbent who advocated for the town through huge wins for Farmington in the form of Bioscience Connecticut and millions of dollars in funds to renovate the UConn Health Center.
At the Republican Town Committee headquarters, many speculated that the presidential election, which brought out thousands more voters than regular municipal elections, gave Demicco an advantage.
Wadsworth addressed supporters, thanking them for hundreds of hours of work invested in his campaign.
"First, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this campaign. I'm proud we ran a clean campaign, with no attack pieces on my opponent," Wadsworth said. "Obviously, I'm very disapointed. I've done a tremendous amount of work for the town of Farmington over the past 16 years and I'm disappointed someone who has done so little for the town has gotten this postition."
Wadsworth thanked campaign staff, especially his manager, Jon Landry, fiance, Irene Van and treasurer Will Riemer.
Brian Becker will serve another term representing Avon, Farmington and West Hartford after winning the 19th District, according to an unofficial vote tally.
Even though Republican Jon Landry was a placeholder candidate who did not campaign, he still got about 4,791 votes total in comparison to Becker's 6,709. That is based on an unofficial vote tally from Avon, Farmington and West Hartford that excludes absentee ballots.
Becker, 50, of West Hartford, earned 1238 votes in Avon, 5,048 in West Hartford and 423 in Farmington, while Landry, 37, of Farmington earned 1,102 in Avon, 3,288 in West Hartford and 401 in Farmington, according to unofficial results
Landry told Patch that he called Becker to congratulate him on the win.