McCarty will succeed Ritter in 38th House

Waterford — Republican Kathleen McCarty took home the title of 38th District representative in the General Assembly Tuesday, with 4,196 votes, according to her campaign’s final tally.

McCarty is the first GOP candidate to hold the seat in 40 years. The last Republican to represent the district was the late Howdy Doody creator Rufus C. Rose.

McCarty, chairman of Waterford’s Board of Education, won by 82 votes against Democrat Marc Balestracci, a sergeant with the Waterford Police Department, according to her campaign totals. Green Party candidate Bill Collins, who has worked as a professor at area colleges, got 150 votes, according to Waterford numbers from Waterford Democrat headquarters and Montville numbers from Waterford Republican headquarters.

“I’m thrilled and I plan on working very hard for the Waterford and Montville communities starting right away,” said McCarty, who was at the Waterford GOP headquarters on Boston Post Road.

She will succeed Democrat Betsy Ritter, who held the seat for 10 years. Ritter lost her bid Tuesday for the 20th Senate District previously held by Democrat Andrea Stillman.

McCarty ran on a platform of job creation and lowering taxes on small businesses to improve the state’s economic environment.

Further down Boston Post Road at Waterford’s Democratic headquarters in Jordan Brook Plaza, Balestracci conceded to McCarty over the phone. McCarty’s campaign was lacking complete numbers at the time and didn’t know until Balestracci called that McCarty had won.

“I throw her my full support and hope that she does great things for the district,” he said after making the phone call in the parking lot.

Balestracci ran on a platform of improving the state economy by improving the convenience and safety of Interstate 95.

Collins said he and his son, Baird Welch-Collins, one of the founders of the Waterford Green Party, had learned a lot from the party’s first campaign. The candidate said that he was pleased the party had earned enough votes to not have to petition for a spot on the ballot in the 38th District during the next election.

t.townsend@theday.com

Twitter: @ConnecticuTess

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