Riley takes 46th House District for fourth term

Norwich — Incumbent Democrat Emmett Riley secured a fourth term Tuesday in the 46th House District, which covers the urban and southern sections of Norwich, easily defeating Republican challenger Andrew Lockwood.

Riley received 3,621 votes to Lockwood's 1,989 in unofficial tallies. 

"I'm very honored and thankful to the voters of the 46th District," Riley said late Tuesday. He pledged to "work hard" for Norwich voters on issues important to them.

Riley skipped the low-key Democratic headquarters hangout Tuesday night and spent the late-night hours collecting signs throughout the district.

Lockwood, who also did not attend the Republican gathering in Norwich, could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Riley, 49, a full-time legislator and previously director of development for two local private nonprofits, succeeded his wife, Melissa Riley, who served 10 years as the district representative. Lockwood, 58, is a relative newcomer to Norwich, having moved to the city in 2017 after several unsuccessful election campaigns in New London.

The campaign featured big differences between the two candidates on key issues, including tolls, raising the minimum wage and how to tackle the state budget deficit. Riley supported tolls, pushed for an increase in the minimum wage and called for working with state labor unions to solve the budget crisis. He also said the legislature should consider legalizing recreational marijuana and sports betting as potential revenue sources to tackle the budget deficit.

Lockwood said voters cared the most about high taxes in the state that failed to solve the growing budget crisis. He pushed for “zero-based” budgeting and said Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski’s plan to eliminate the state income tax was a “useful goal.” Lockwood opposed raising the minimum wage and legalizing marijuana.

In a small, urban district, both candidates concentrated on door-to-door campaigning, with Lockwood saying he met nearly 8,000 voters during the campaign.

c.bessette@theday.com

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