Cheeseman returns to state House in 37th District

Voters in East Lyme and Salem on Tuesday sent Republican state Rep. Holly Cheeseman back to Hartford for a second term.

Cheeseman, 63, of East Lyme defeated Democratic challenger Hugh McKenney of Salem by a vote of 5,760 to 5,446. Cheeseman won re-election by just 314 votes.

Celebrating with other Republicans at Flanders Fish Market on Tuesday night, she said she had worked hard and was honored to be re-elected. "I will continue to advocate for the residents of East Lyme and Salem and do what needs to be done to bring Connecticut forward."

Cheeseman told voters during the campaign that she would remain focused on improving the state's business climate and looking to tax reform rather than relying on new revenue from tolls or the legalization of marijuana. She said she prefers to see money allocated for road improvements than to further subsidize the state's rail system.

Cheeseman is executive director of the Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut.

McKenney, 56, of Salem said earlier in the day that he, too, had worked hard and had received positive feedback from voters at the polls.

During the campaign, he said he supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use — provided there are ways to keep it out of the hands of children — and installing tolls for tractor-trailers at the entrances to major highways. He said he was in favor of legalizing sports betting. He said the state's roads need work but attention should also be paid to the state's rail system in order to attract and retain young people.  

McKenney is a recently retired nuclear engineer who worked at the Dominion Energy's Millstone Nuclear Power Station for 20 years. He's served on his town's Planning and Zoning Commission for more than 10 years.

k.florin@theday.com

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