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Democrats make solid gains in General Assembly; Boucher loses

Democrat Will Haskell, 22, knocking on doors in Westport during his campaign. (Claire Silber, CT Mirror)

The aftermath.

Democrats made their first state legislative gains in 10 years Tuesday night, breaking an 18-18 tie in Senate by unseating at least three Republican incumbents and defending Democrats targeted by the GOP and a super PAC. Other Democratic gains in the Senate were possible.

House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said the Democrats will add to their 80-71 advantage, possibly picking up a half dozen seats.

Republican Rob Sampson of Wolcott won the seat being vacated by Joe Markley, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, but Sens. Toni Boucher of Wilton, Len Suzio of Meriden and Michael McLachlan of Danbury lost.

Boucher, who won the seat 10 years ago after six terms in the House, was defeated by 22-year-old Will Haskell, a recent Georgetown University graduate. Read about that race here.

McLachlan, who has represented the Danbury area since 2009, was unseated by Julie Kushner, the former director of UAW Region 9. Read about her here.

Suzio, one of the state Senate’s most conservative members, was unseated by Mary Daugherty Abrams, a former teacher and the wife of a former House member.

In the House, Democrats unseated at least five incumbents: Robert Siegrist was unseated by Christine Palm; Fred Wilms of Norwalk lost to Lucy Dathan; Scott Storms of Windsor Locks to Jane M. Garibay; Greg Stokes to Tom Arnone and Sam Belsito to Pat Wilson Pheanious.

House Democrats also flipped one seat that was opened after a Republican left office. Jason Doucette picked up Mark Tweedie’s seat.

Republicans failed in efforts to unseat several Democratic incumbents they deemed vulnerable: Michelle Cook of Torrington, Catherine Abercrombie of Meriden, Pat Boyd and Ronald Napoli Jr.

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