McCarty over Welch-Collins in the 38th House District
Waterford — Republican incumbent Kathleen McCarty held back a determined challenge Tuesday from Democrat Baird Welch-Collins to take the 38th House District seat for the third straight election.
The vote was 5,609 for McCarty, and 5,219 for Welch-Collins, according to unofficial results.
Fewer than 200 votes separated McCarty and Welch-Collins in the four Waterford districts, but the incumbent pulled away by taking both Montville polling areas by more than 100 votes. Voting was heavy in the district, with about 64 percent of Waterford voters having cast ballots by 7 p.m., McCarty said.
"I think people knew me and I worked very hard," McCarty said at Republican headquarters after Welch-Collins had conceded defeat.
She said she would have been devastated had she lost, considering the work left to be done in Hartford in serving seniors, the mentally ill and people with intellectual disabilities.
"This is a true honor and a privilege to be your representative," she said to about 30 Republican backers at GOP headquarters. "I take it very seriously."
Welch-Collins, who won 48 percent of the vote to McCarty's 52 percent, said he spent about half of his time campaigning in Montville, knowing that McCarty had an advantage there. He also spent a good deal of time in Waterford's fourth district, which leans Republican.
"Four hundred votes, that's pretty close," he said. "I'm proud. We ran a good campaign."
The 38th District encompasses all of Waterford and a section of Montville.
Issues in the 38th District revolved around Welch-Collins' belief that new voices are needed in Hartford. McCarty, on the other hand, said her business experience is needed and that comprehensive spending cuts should be implemented, along with a slow reduction in state income taxes.
Welch-Collins was in favor of tolls to help pay for roads, while McCarty was not. McCarty touted her work in helping to keep Millstone Power Station online by supporting its ability to compete in the state's low-emitting and zero-carbon energy market.
McCarty, 68, is an educator and businesswoman who has served on the Waterford Board of Education. Welch-Collins, 23, on the Waterford RTM, was running for his first statewide elected office.
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