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    Monday, February 26, 2024

    Cheeseman re-elected in 37th District

    Republican State Rep. Holly Cheeseman, running for reelection in the 37th district, and Alex Salerno, a member of her campaign, greet voters at the District 2 polling station at Niantic Center School in East Lyme on Election Day Tuesday, November 8, 2022. .(Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Nick Menapace, Democratic candidate for state representative candidate in the 37th district, left, talks with friend Earle Nelson, of Hartford, as they campaign outside the District 1 polling station at East Lyme High School on Election Day Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Voters returned Republican incumbent State Rep. Holly Cheeseman to her fourth term in office Tuesday, defeating challenger Nick Menapace by a slim margin of 541 votes.

    The unofficial vote tally, which doesn't include absentee ballots from Montville, is 6,229 to 5,688.

    The district also covers East Lyme and part of Salem.

    Cheeseman said she was not comfortable claiming victory because of the missing absentee ballots from Montville.

    She vowed to put voter’s interests first and to “to make Connecticut safer, better, more affordable and that's our focus every single day".

    Menapace could not be reached by phone.

    The race pitted Cheeseman against Democrat newcomer Menapace, a social studies teacher focused on keeping kids safe and demonstrating the kind of good citizenship he tries to instill in his students.

    Cheeseman, 67, was serving on the East Lyme Board of Selectmen when she was first elected to the state General Assembly in 2016. She defeated East Lyme’s Cate Steel by 200 votes in 2020.

    Cheeseman is the executive director of the Southeastern Connecticut’s Children’s Museum. She served 18 years on the East Lyme Public Library Board of Trustees and three terms as a selectwoman.

    Over the course of three terms in Hartford, Cheeseman has co-sponsored bills to cap the price of insulin, mandate mental health parity in health insurance coverage, establish a youth suicide prevention pilot program, and require insurance coverage for medication-assisted treatment of opioid addiction, among others.

    Menapace, 33, has been an educator for more than 10 years. He currently teaches sixth-grade social studies at Kelly Middle School in Norwich.

    His priorities included affordable healthcare, comprehensive gun laws to ensure safety in schools, reproductive health protections, more available and affordable housing, and lower taxes for middle- and working-class families.

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