Urban defeats Mullane to gain ninth term

Rep. Diana Urban, center, Democrat representing the 43rd House District, speaks Tuesday with her campaign coordinator, Ally Bond, and Byron Stillman, fire inspector/assistant Pawcatuck Fire Department chief, outside the firehouse, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Tim Martin/The Day)
Rep. Diana Urban, center, Democrat representing the 43rd House District, speaks Tuesday with her campaign coordinator, Ally Bond, and Byron Stillman, fire inspector/assistant Pawcatuck Fire Department chief, outside the firehouse, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Tim Martin/The Day)

In most of her eight previous campaigns, Democratic incumbent Diana Urban of North Stonington had little, and sometimes no, opposition in her re-election bids for the 43rd District state representative seat.

While this year was different with a challenge from Republican Nick Mullane, who served as North Stonington’s first selectman for 32 years, Urban still easily won another term in Hartford on Tuesday by a vote of 7,847 to 4,914.

Urban defeated Mullane 6,320 to 3,507 in Stonington and 1,527 to 1,407 in North Stonington.

As she learned in Stonington Town Hall of unofficial results that showed she had won Tuesday night, Urban said she was victorious because “I think people understand I really, really care about children and families and I mean what I say.”

She added that voters understand and appreciate her ongoing effort to implement results-based accountability in state government and her work on the link between animal cruelty and other violent behavior. She said they also understand her experience and relationships helped Stonington recover much of its initial state education aid cut last year.

Mullane blamed himself for the loss, saying he was a novice in state elections who did not raise enough campaign funds and could have done a better job in getting his message out at the two debates. He pledged to continue working to help the two towns.

During her last term, Urban gained statewide recognition for her successful effort to have the state investigate how Amistad America spent $9 million of state funding. Her efforts, in part, led to the state conducting an audit of the financially troubled organization, the ship being put in receivership and then sold to a new nonprofit group.

“That’s the one issue where people still stop me in the grocerey store and say thank you,” she said.

Urban said one of her first initiatives when the General Assembly session begins in January is to introduce a bill to repay the numerous small businesses, individuals and organizations that are owed $2 million by the now defunct Amistad America.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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