Skip to comments.Suzio defeats Bruenn in special election (Meriden CT, State Senate-Suzio is Tea Party Conservative)
Posted on 02/23/2011 5:55:17 AM PST by Dr. Sivana
Suzio defeats Bruenn in special election
| Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:51 pm | 6 comments
MERIDEN - It took four tries, but Leonard F. Suzio easily won the 13th District state Senate seat Tuesday over Thomas E. Bruenn in what Suzio described as an election to return Connecticut to the people.
Early in the night, Suzio, a Republican, was cautiously optimistic as he sat at a desk at his campaign's East Main Street headquarters. He had lost races to former Sen. Thomas P. Gaffey three times before, most recently in November, but said something felt different this time - voters were unhappy with what they saw as out-of-control spending in Hartford and around the country.
"Thank you all," Suzio told about 100 supporters crowded around him. "Now let's roll up our sleeves and make Connecticut the great state it used to be."
Supporters such as state Sen. Joseph Markley, R-Southington, and former state Sen. Tom Scott, as well as poll workers and well-wishers filled the rooms. As the results started trickling in, the mood grew more upbeat.
Suzio won Cheshire easily - as he had during his most recent campaign - and as the Meriden and Middletown results came in, the distance between him and Bruenn, a Democrat, grew.
As more city voting precincts showed Suzio winning, supporters shouted: "I thought we weren't supposed to win that district."
The 16-year wait for a spot in the Senate, which was dotted with disappointments and defeats, was not lost on Suzio in his victory speech.
"I didn't let the odds, no matter how daunting they were, stop me from plowing ahead with what I thought was the right thing to do. I promise you, I'm going to take that same attitude up to the state Capitol," he said, adding that a new "conservative revolution" was afoot.
Suzio, 63, also thanked his opponent for running a positive five-week campaign. Bruenn dropped by the headquarters briefly to congratulate the winner. He credited the win to voter values and a new, more conservative, Republican Party that has to be more than "Democrat light" if it wants to keep winning.
"We ran a good fight," Bruenn said. "But obviously the Republicans worked harder."
Earlier that night, Bruenn was gracious in defeat, telling the roughly 40 supporters who had gathered at his West Main Street headquarters that he was conceding and thanking Suzio for running a positive campaign.
He said he had no regrets about his campaign and that he respected the voters' choice.
"As the saying goes, the people have spoken," said the 71-year-old Meriden school board member. "The public says that Len's ideas trumped mine."
Bruenn and other supporters acknowledged that new Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget proposal, which includes sharp tax increases for nearly every resident in the state, also may have energized the local conservative base. The proposal also includes spending cuts to balance the state's budget.
Meriden Democratic Town Chairwoman Millie Torres-Ferguson said the defeat could be chalked up to a perfect storm made up of anger over Malloy's budget and a lack of urgency from local party members.
"I think there were several things that contributed to this ... I think a lot of people thought Tom was a shoo-in," she said. "Taxpayers are concerned with this latest proposal, the tax package - that's obvious. It's frustrating because Tom came out against Malloy's taxes but that didn't come through."
Torres-Ferguson added that the campaign failed to draw attention to what she described as Suzio's connection to New England Log Homes, a business he co-owned that failed in the 1990s without returning hundreds of thousands of dollars in customer deposits.
"He's not the guy that he's painted himself to be," she said. "Tom would have been much better for this district than Len would be .... Tom didn't lose because of something Tom did."
Suzio and Bruenn spent nearly two years as fellow members of Meriden's Board of Education until Suzio opted not to seek re-election in 2009 after 14 years there.
He was given a surprise chance at a fourth shot at the Senate following an unceremonious end to former state Sen. Thomas P. Gaffey's 15-year tenure. After he admitted double-billing both the state and his political action committee for $2,800 in travel expenses in 2009, an investigation by the state's attorney's office resulted in misdemeanor larceny charges and he resigned before taking the oath of office in January.
At polling places around the district Tuesday, Malloy's plan to raise taxes by an estimated $1.5 billion next year was clearly weighing heavy on the minds of voters.
Meriden resident Tom Walker, who was voting at Washington Middle School, said concern over the increases led him to cast his vote for Suzio.
"Hopefully he'll make some sense of the taxes," he said.
Another Meriden resident, Derrick Jackson, said he voted for Bruenn mostly due to his background in education.
"I like his strong stances, and most of them line up with what I think," he said.
All special election winners are tentatively scheduled to be sworn into office on Friday, according to Av Harris, spokesman for the secretary of the state. Suzio, however, said he's going to Los Angeles on business Thursday and won't be back until Saturday.
How many of the CT Specials did we win ?
Excellent news. Seems like the rest of America are finally taking off their blinders.
I went to vote for Kolenberg yesterday, only to find my polling place locked up. There were 3 of us there trying to figure out why. I called the registrar of voters and found out that we weren't in his CT senate district, even though everything I got about him said 'Stamford - Darien'. Guess I need to pay better attention to state districts.
Does the 13th consist of Cheshire, Meriden, and Middletown?
In other news, some of our local unions are rallying in support of Wisconsin today.
Wow, what is with all the petition candidates in Bridgeport (thanks again for Malloy /s)?
126th State House District (Bridgeport)
Charlie L Stallworth (D): 473
James Keyser (R): 82
Mark Trojanowski (Petition): 58
Carlos Silva (Petition): 89
Robert Keeley (Petition): 191
Thomas Lombard (Petition): 34
Verna Kearney (Petition): 373
Forget the petition candidates....I was shocked there are 82 republicans in Bridgeport!!
Now there are three fish, almost out of water in CT.
I supported Scott, Markley and Suzio when I lived in CT. They are great men, men of conscience, pro-life men, nothing can be said against these patriots that would stand up to the truth.
I pray from Florida that more fish will swim up stream and save CT but as you can see I couldn’t wait and found a better climate for my family in FL.
I know! They must be some of the few business owners left in that city.
Just two out of nine races:
Len Suzio won the 13th District state Senate seat, and Noreen Kokoruda won the 101st District House seat in Madison.
Thank you, PALIN SMITH for that information!
blackelk CT ping
This is the most important of all the Connecticut special elections. Conservatives are glacially increasing their numbers, particularly in the State Senate. Total number of senators is 36. Conservatives now hold a seat in Enfield area (near Springfield, MA), Danbury (on the western edge of CT), Southington (SE of Waterbury), at least one Waterbury seat and both are possible), one NE of New Haven (including North Haven, Wallingford, part of Hamden), this very difficult Meriden (and Cheshire, Middletown, Middlefield) seat. Republicans of probably more liberal leanings are likely holding Greenwich seat and Westport/Fairfield seat. The seat covering Stratford and Shelton is conservative and usually Republican. There is a seat in the Northwest corner of the state that is almost always Republican (fiscally conservative and often socially middle to liberal). That makes 9 or 10 (depending on the second Waterbury seat) but 19 are necessary to a majority. Demonrat senators are probably hopeless on votes that matter. A key to improving the GOP senate numbers is stressing social conservatism in areas like New London, Norwich, Bristol, New Britain, and recapturing traditionally Republican seats in a district NW of Hartford including Simsbury and Farmington and a shoreline seat East of New Haven (Branford, Guilford, North Branford, etc.) and the thoroughly middle class seat long held by the retired (but still only 53 year-old) Tom Scott in Milford (now apparently held by a Maoist feminazi). More remote possibilities include the Manchester seat (SE of Hartford), a seat in the Willimantic area (extreme NE corner). Getting beyond these requires ideological revolution at the grass roots and extreme organization. There is now enough of a cadre in the State Senate to lead the charge and the three guys photoed in #1 above are the three to do it.
Governor Malloy is the first Demonrat governor elected since 1984 (that was Bill O'Neill). Since then CT has elected as governor an ideological criminal in Lowell Weicker, a convicted criminal in John Jailbird Rowland, and several terms of Mother Rell.
Malloy is a smidgeon less leftist than Maryland's O'Malley or Jerry Brown but he thinks that he can continue tax increases as usual and get away with it. He is left of Andrew Cuomo on fiscal matters and wants to abolish the death penalty at a time when one of two home invasion killers/rapists of a mother and two teenaged daughters in a nice suburban town of Cheshire has been convicted and sentenced to death and the other is about to be tried. Cheshire is in Suzio's district.
Suzio is the former president of the Pro-Life Council of Connecticut. The only issue on which he might be liberal would be the death penalty but I don't think so and it would be hard since the notorious rape murders occurred in the district.
My knowledge of the geography of the districts is a bit dated since I have not been in CT since before the 2001 redistricting and I welcome correction of the description of districts above and any additional districts or senators I should have named.
Please fact check my #17 since your knowledge of the districts is far more current than mine.
With Suzio’s win, the GOP holds 14 out of 36 seats. Of the other 22 held by the Dems, 7 won by less than 10% (Steve Cassano in Dist. 4 - Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester and Marlborough, who won by just 73 votes); (Theresa Gerratana in Dist #6 - New Britain, Berlin and Farmington); (Edward Meyer in Dist #12 - Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, North Branford, a GOP seat until 2005); (Edith Prague in Dist #19 - part of Montville; Andover, Bozrah, Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Norwich and Sprague); (Anthony J. Musto in Dist #22 - Bridgeport, Monroe, and Trumbull, a seat we held as recently as 2008-09); (Carlo Leone in Dist #27 - parts of Darien and Stamford) & (Eileen Daily in Dist #33 - Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook).
If the GOP takes all of those with a concerted effort, that would be a 21R-15D majority. They last won a majority in 1995-97.
The house race 101 Kokoruda .... she is NARAL .. so NARAL won a solid GOP seat. Count this as a loss.
in BPRT 126, Baptist minister DEM beat 2 leftists. So count this as a victory. (Conservatives were smart to abandon the useless GOPer in that race who got 82 votes.)
The Monaco loss is painful.