In second try, France tops Bowles in 42nd House District

Ledyard — Republican Mike France stole the title of 42nd District representative in the General Assembly from incumbent Democrat Tim Bowles on Tuesday.

France earned a total of 3,832 votes, beating Bowles by a margin of 727 votes. It was the second time the two competed for the 42nd District seat. Bowles beat France in 2012.

“I’m thrilled,” said France, who awaited returns at the Ledyard Center School polling location.

He said he thought the biggest difference between the 2012 elections and the elections Tuesday was that he had more volunteer support this time around.

“They’re really a force multiplier,” he said.

He also said he believes the economy had failed to improve as much as voters hoped it would, and so he thought voters wanted to see a change.

France, 52, of Gales Ferry campaigned on a platform of making the state more fiscally responsible by balancing the budget, decreasing regulation on businesses and eliminating unnecessary services.

He works with the Virginia-class submarine program as a defense contractor. He retired from the Navy in 2005 after more than two decades of service.

Bowles, 64, a Preston alpaca farmer, served one term in the House of Representatives. Clean energy and environmental sustainability were among the top priorities in his campaign.

Bowles walked from his campaign headquarters on Colonel Ledyard Highway in Ledyard Center to France’s headquarters to concede at around 10:30 p.m.

“I wanna give a lot of credit to Mike France,” Bowles said.

The 42nd District includes Preston, most of Ledyard and parts of Montville.

t.townsend@theday.com

Twitter: @ConnecticuTess

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