Cabrera wins primary in 17th District

Jorge Cabrera

HAMDEN — A former legislative aide has won a three-way primary to run for the seat in 17th Senatorial District.

According to data from the Secretary of the State’s Office, the party-endorsed Democratic candidate, Jorge Cabrera, 44, received more than 37 percent of the vote with 24 of 25 precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning.

The district represents the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby and parts of Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge.

Cabrera, of Hamden, is an international representative for United Food & Commercial Workers International. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and was a legislative aide to state Rep. Moira Lyons when she was speaker of the House of Representatives.

Two other Hamden residents were vying for the party’s nomination: Valerie Horsley, 42, and Sean Grace, 47.

Unofficial results from the Secretary of the State’s Office on Wednesday morning showed Cabrera received 2,260 votes to Horsley’s 1,966 and Grace’s 1,769.

“This victory means that the people of the 17th District are ready for change and want a new direction,” Cabrera said. “We won because we worked hard and spoke to the real concerns of the people of the 17th. It was a great team effort and we are very happy with the result.”

In a post on his campaign’s Facebook page, Cabrera thanked voters for their support and Grace and Horsley for running an “honorable campaign.”

All three candidates said they were inspired to take action after Republican Donald Trump won the presidency, becoming politically active at the grassroots.

Grace, co-owner of Impact Strategies, a political consulting firm started in 2017, got involved in the Hamden Progressive Action Network.

Horsley, a professor and scientist at Yale University, formed the organization Action Together Connecticut, which has over 6,000 followers on its Facebook page and encourages people to volunteer for campaigns and testify on bills.

In a post on Horsley’s campaign Facebook page, Horsley said, “I want to congratulate Jorge Cabrera on being the Democratic candidate for state Senate for the 17th District. I’d also like to thank Sean Grace for the tremendous effort, time and energy that he devoted for his race. We didn’t get the result that we wanted, but we worked hard and we motivated voters and volunteers who had previously not been engaged in the political process. And we’re not over, we’re just getting started. This fall, we need to come together and elect democratic candidates up and down the ballot, including in the 17th District.”

Cabrera moves on to face state Sen. George Logan, the Republican incumbent, in November.

Logan, a 49-year-old Ansonia resident and the director of environmental management for Aquarian Water Company, is seeking his second term in office after defeating longtime state Sen. Joe Crisco in 2016.

Elio Gugliotti contributed to this article.