Carney wins third term to represent 23rd House District

Incumbent state Rep. Devin Carney, R-Old Lyme, was re-elected Tuesday to his third term representing the 23rd House District, heading off a challenge from Democrat Matt Pugliese.

The 23rd District covers the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. The vote was 7,129 for Carney, and 5,690 for Pugliese, according to unofficial results.

"I just want to really thank all my supporters and thank the towns I represent," Carney said. "I've worked extremely hard for this district over the last four years and over the last four months, and I'm just happy that the voters are putting me back to work for them so I can continue to be the independent, strong voice I've always been for the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook."

Pugliese said he wanted to congratulate Carney on a “really hard-fought race.”

“We worked really hard on our campaign and it’s been an incredible journey over the last several months,” Pugliese said. “I’ve personally grown so much as a person from this experience and enjoyed the opportunity to speak with so many neighbors about the different challenges facing our state, and I really am appreciative for all of the trust and belief that people put into me and all the people that have worked (alongside) me to create this campaign’s energy."

He also thanked his volunteers and the Democratic Town Committees in Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Carney, 34, who works as a Realtor in Old Saybrook, ran on a platform of fixing the state's economy and debt, along with boosting the climate for businesses and affordability for residents. Carney, who serves on the General Assembly's Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and is the ranking member on the Transportation Committee, said people are leaving the state because of high taxes and fees.

Pugliese, 36, the chairman of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission and the managing director and executive producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the University of Connecticut, supported affordable housing, affordable health care and paid family leave, among other initiatives, during his campaign. He said those programs would not only make the state more affordable for individuals but also make Connecticut more competitive with other states.

Both Carney, who described himself as a moderate Republican, and Pugliese, who called himself a progressive in his campaignemphasized the importance of bipartisanship.

k.drelich@theday.com

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