Cheeseman takes 37th state House District seat

Republican candidate Holly Cheeseman, running for the 37th District state House seat, talks with East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson outside the polling station at East Lyme High School on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Cheeseman won the seat, with 7,152 votes to Democratic challenger Beth Hogan's 5,733.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Republican candidate Holly Cheeseman, running for the 37th District state House seat, talks with East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson outside the polling station at East Lyme High School on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Cheeseman won the seat, with 7,152 votes to Democratic challenger Beth Hogan's 5,733. (Dana Jensen/The Day)

East Lyme — Republican Holly Cheeseman was elected Tuesday to represent the 37th House District, defeating Democrat Beth Hogan for the seat held by Democrat Ed Jutila for the past 12 years.

The 37th state House district encompasses the towns of East Lyme and Salem.

Cheeseman, an East Lyme selectwoman, received 7,152 votes, while Hogan, an East Lyme Board of Finance member, secured 5,733.

The candidates, who both come from backgrounds serving in East Lyme's local government, said bringing fiscal stability to Hartford was their top priority.

Hogan, 57, an attorney in Old Lyme and project manager at a Middletown nonprofit, was the town's first selectwoman from 2005 to 2007.

Cheeseman, 61, the executive director of the Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in downtown Niantic, is serving her third term on the Board of Selectmen.

"I am thrilled and honored that the voters of East Lyme and Salem have chosen to send me to Hartford to represent them," Cheeseman said. "I think this indicates they realized the need for some balance in Hartford, and I will do my best to represent them in the manner in which they deserve and create a more prosperous Connecticut."

Hogan congratulated Cheeseman.

"The most important outcome that needs to happen is that both sides need to work together, not just talk about it," Hogan said. "If we all come together, we can solve the state's problems and move Connecticut forward in a positive direction."

Cheeseman's ideas included a moratorium on all new mandates for businesses and governments, while Hogan championed, among other initiatives, a thorough review of all tax incentives on the books.

This was Cheeseman's third time seeking state office. She lost to Jutila in 2010 and briefly ran in 2012, before withdrawing due to family commitments.

k.drelich@theday.com 

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