NORWALK, Conn. — Stephanie Thomas has acknowledged her overwhelming win in last week’s election, characterizing it as voters choosing policy over politics.
Thomas, a Norwalk Democrat, is set to replace State Rep. Gail Lavielle, a Wilton Republican who held the District 143 seat for a decade, after receiving 55.4 percent of the district’s votes, according to the Secretary of State.
“She will be the first person of color and first Norwalk resident to hold this position since redistricting in 1973. In the three towns that comprise the 143rd district, Stephanie won approximately 57% of the vote in Norwalk, 53% in Wilton, and 61% in Westport,” a press release said Monday.
Thomas defeated Republican candidate Patrizia Zucaro, a Westport attorney who had Lavielle’s help and support. Zucaro declined to comment.
The election saw record turnout – more than 1.5 million Connecticut residents went to the polls, a 77.5 percent turnout. Among District 143 towns, that was:
- Norwalk 74.23% turnout
- Wilton 88.23% turnout
- Westport 86.47% turnout
“I want to extend my deepest thanks to the voters,” Thomas is quoted as saying. “Thank you for exercising your right to vote, especially during these trying and unprecedented times. Thank you for participating in the process, caring about our community, and showing up to make sure your voice is heard. Thank you for choosing a focus on policy over partisan politics that threaten to tear us apart. Know that I will carry all of your energy, and every concern and hope you’ve shared with me to Hartford. Because of you, I know that the future of Connecticut is bright.”
Thomas, a consultant who provides fundraising expertise to nonprofits, attempted to unseat Lavielle two years ago. The incumbent got 51.5 percent of the vote.
“Having narrowly missed the opportunity to represent this district in 2018, it was apparent to me that we were ready for change and we’ve proved that in 2020,” Thomas is quoted as saying in Monday’s press release. “Even though the campaign is over, our work is just beginning. Connecticut is still in the midst of a global pandemic, an economic crisis, a struggle for justice and equality, and our newly elected state government needs to hit the ground running. I am ready to tackle the challenges facing our state today, and I will not stop when new challenges arise.”
She continued, “During this campaign and my previous one in 2018, I met and talked with many of you, people of all stripes and all ideological bents. I knocked on all sorts of doors and you graciously opened them to me; in Hartford, my door will always be open to all of my constituents. Thank you for electing me. With the energy and commitment I see in our neighbors, I have hope for the future and for a better Connecticut for generations to come.”
Updated 1:50 p.m.: Copy edit.