Conley defeats Scott for District 40 seat in Groton, Ledyard

Rep. Christine Conley, left, celebrates with her husband Timothy Beebe as results are posted at Groton Democratic headquarters on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. (Peter Huoppi/The Day)
Rep. Christine Conley, left, celebrates with her husband Timothy Beebe as results are posted at Groton Democratic headquarters on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. (Peter Huoppi/The Day)

Groton — Incumbent Democratic Rep. Christine Conley defeated Republican John Scott Tuesday night in the race for the 40th District House seat. Unofficial results, not including the 925 absentee ballots Town Clerk Betsy Moukawsher said were returned, showed Conley with 3,583 votes to Scott's 2,560.

The contest was a rematch from 2016, when Conley ousted then-incumbent Scott, getting 4,011 votes to his 3,383.

"I'm really thrilled to have won all four districts," Conley said.

Later addressing the crowd gathered at Groton Democratic Headquarters with Rep. Joe de la Cruz, she noted that while they dealt with negativity, "in the end the voters did what was right and they sent us back for two more years."

Conley said her first priority when the General Assembly is back in session is to make sure pre-existing conditions will be covered by health insurance in Connecticut.

District 40 covers the northern part of Groton City, Groton Town north of Interstate 95 and the southwestern corner of Ledyard.

Many on social media decried the campaigns on social media for being particularly negative and nasty.

Mailers from Scott said Conley "will continue to punish the middle class" and accused her of "using Hartford to advance her legal career," while in Facebook Live videos, Scott repeatedly said Conley told "bald-faced lies" about him and he accused her of "misusing her office to benefit herself."

A mailer from Conley showed a report card that gave Scott an F on job growth, school funding, women's issues and integrity.

Scott campaigned on opposition to tolls, cutting regulations that impede business growth, and serving as a voice for veterans.

Conley campaigned on her record of helping secure state dollars for Electric Boat, passing legislation to protect women's health benefits, opposing cuts to Medicare and providing tax relief to senior citizens.

"I really don't know what to say at this point," Scott said Tuesday night of his loss. He added that it's disappointing, he worked hard and he heard positive responses from voters at doors. He wondered if the results were driven by "disappointment with Trump over disappointment with Malloy."

e.moser@theday.com

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