Democratic state Sen. Andrew Maynard of Stonington won his fourth term representing the 18th District on Tuesday, defeating Republican Theresa Madonna of Griswold by a vote of 20,131 to 13,495.
Maynard defeated Madonna in all eight towns in the district —Groton, Stonington, North Stonington, Griswold, Plainfield, Sterling, Voluntown and Preston.
At Groton Republican headquarters, a smiling Theresa Madonna said the campaign was a wonderful experience and she pledged to run again in two years. She said she would start campaigning again on Friday.
"If he thinks I'm going away he's wrong," she said. "I'll keep working. Just because campaign season is over doesn't mean I'm going to stop campaigning."
"I made a lot of new friends, and I learned a lot. I'll have greater traction next time," she added.
At Democratic headquarters in Groton, Maynard said he was very happy with the outcome and was fortunate to be part of a strong Democratic ticket. He said he worked hard to run a positive campaign, stressing what he's done and what he plans to do. He said this was in contrast to a campaign season that was rampant with negative campaigning, something he said voters rejected.
"I'm gratified by the response. We worked very hard at it. We stayed positive and didn't run any negative advertising," he said.
Coincidentally, Maynard defeated another Griswold Republican and attorney, Stuart Norman, in 2010. But this race had a different tenor. While the Maynard-Norman race gained national recognition for its civility, Madonna was more aggressive in her campaigning.
She repeatedly pointed out that Maynard voted to support 77 new state taxes and fee hikes, which she said she would rescind, and reminded voters that he failed to vote in three recent budget referendums in town.
"We can't afford this Malloy yes-man anymore," said one of her mailers. That statement was sure to irk Maynard, who prides himself on voting against his party when he feels he needs to.
On Tuesday both candidates visited all 23 polling places in the sprawling eight-town district before ending the night at their respective party headquarters in Groton. Madonna's supporters collected food and cash along the way to donate to local food banks.