Bizzarro flips 6th Senate seat for GOP

March 2, 2019

Article as it appeared in the Record Journal

Republican Gennaro Bizzarro won a special election to fill the vacancy in the 6th Senate district, capturing a seat vacated by Democrat Terry Gerratana’s resignation in January.

“I told everybody that this was a special opportunity – that voters of the sixth district had to be heard on the governor’s budget,” Bizzarro told a crowded room of supporters in The Avenue, a Berlin restaurant. “I told you this was a referendum on tolls and taxes and we did not disappoint.”

The district covers Berlin, Farmington and New Britain. Bizzarro was up against Democrat Rick Lopes, a state representative from the 24th house district in New Britain.

The special election was one of five after Gov. Ned Lamont picked members of the General Assembly to join his administration. Lamont  picked Gerratana to become an advisor in the Office of Health Strategy.

Lopes said he called Bizzarro to congratulate him on his victory Tuesday night.

“We ran a good campaign and we’re very proud of it,” he said.

Unofficial vote totals on the Secretary of State’s website show Bizzaro received 3,878 votes, or 53.01 percent, to Lopes’ 3,196 votes on the Republican line and 241 votes on the Working Families line.

“In central Connecticut, the issue of tolls is a big deal for voters,” Bizzaro said.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart echoed that, saying residents voted against the prospect of any new taxes.

“It goes to show that this is a referendum on taxes, on tolls and on working class families and that’s what we heard while we were campaigning door to door,” said Stewart, a Republican.

J.R. Romano, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, said Bizzarro’s election gives the party another chance to work towards reduced spending.

“I think Republicans are offering an alternative and a path where we have to get government to tighten its belt versus raising taxes,” he said.

When he is sworn into the Senate, Bizzarro said he will bring that message to Hartford.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to act as a firewall and try to stop the inevitability of tolls under a Democratic legislature,” he said.