Hartley breezes back into office

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State Sen. Joan Hartley (D-15), right, talks with MaryAnn Dukas of Waterbury outside of Kennedy High School in Waterbury Tuesday. Hartley defeated Republican Karl Shehu and Blair Bertaccini, who ran on the Working Families ticket, to win her eighth term in office. –RA ARCHIVE
State Sen. Joan Hartley (D-15), right, talks with MaryAnn Dukas of Waterbury outside of Kennedy High School in Waterbury Tuesday. Hartley defeated Republican Karl Shehu and Blair Bertaccini, who ran on the Working Families ticket, to win her eighth term in office. –RA ARCHIVE

Democrat Joan Hartley (D-15) sailed to an eighth state Senate term on Tuesday.

Hartley, a Waterbury native, is a human resource manager at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut. She had to fend off two challenges in order to earn another term in office representing the 15th Senate District, which includes Waterbury, Middlebury and Naugatuck.

The challenges came from Republican Karl Shehu, 29, and Blair Bertaccini, 61, who ran on the Working Families ticket. Both are Waterbury residents. Hartley easily defeated her challengers garnering 11,310 votes. Shehu received 4,953 votes, while Bertaccini got 375 votes, according to unofficial numbers.

Hartley described herself as an independent voice for fiscal responsibility in Hartford. She sought re-election because she feels she’s been able to make a significant difference in Hartford by fighting excessive spending and demanding financial accountability.