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Carney wins fourth term in 23rd District

Voters in the 23rd state House District appeared Tuesday to have sent Rep. Devin Carney, R-Old Lyme, back to Hartford for a fourth term.  

As of deadline, Carney had beat Democratic challenger Dave Rubino in three of the district's four towns, Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Old Lyme, and lost to him in Lyme. The unofficial vote tally, which didn't include 750 absentee ballots from Westbrook, was 8,521 to 6,740.

Carney, 36, of Old Lyme, celebrated with family and friends at the Westbrook beach house that once belonged to his late, famed grandfather Art Carney.

He had campaigned as "the candidate you know," touting his ability to work with bipartisan committees and commitment to the district's best interest as to taxation, affordable housing, tourism and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke of trimming state government rather than raising taxes, and said he had concerns about the number and placement of tolls in the proposals he's seen.

Old Saybrook Republican Jeff Jordan, standing outside the high school polling place with his 10-year-old son, said Carney is "a voice of reason" who grew up in the area and is very invested.

"It comes down to policies, in part," Jordan said. "I certainly don't want to see regionalization of schools or tolls."

Rubino, 50, who lives and practices law in Old Lyme, had spent years as an international human rights attorney before settling in Connecticut with his family. He said his team had run the campaign it wanted to run and generated a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

Rubino said he would support tolls geared at people passing through the state, with a gas tax credit for locals who use the roads daily. He said legalizing marijuana, if children could be protected, should be looked at as a source of revenue, as well as taxes for the most wealthy and businesses.

Rubino said fixing affordable housing and zoning laws would address underlying issues such as racial inequality and help young people and that his goal wasn't to change the community, but to make it grow and thrive.

k.florin@theday.com

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