Hartley wins seventh term

Joan Hartley

WATERBURY — State Sen. Joan Hartley fended off two third-party challengers Tuesday to win a seventh term in the 15th Senate District.

Hartley, a Waterbury Democrat, garnered 15,730 votes, according to unofficial results, while Andrew “Andy” Larsen, an Independent Party candidate, won only 1,541 votes. Blair F. Bertaccini, a member of the Working Families Party, had only 760.

Hartley campaigned hard despite the low-key third-party challenges and said she was still meeting with voters on Tuesday to discuss jobs and the economy.

“The one resounding thing we keep hearing is that there are people doing apprenticeships but can’t get full-time work,” Hartley said Tuesday night. “People are underemployed. We need to work on that.”

She outraised her contenders by taking in $17,936, whereas Bertaccini did not complete any fundraising and Larsen relied entirely on the Independent Party to support his campaign.

Larsen does not have any political experience; Bertaccini has said his goal was simply to promote his party’s issues and platform.

Hartley pledged to continue to work with small businesses to find areas to reduce regulations in the state and streamline permitting processes. She said that may require refining existing policies, but not a complete overhaul.

“It’s not to say we don’t want a clean environment anymore or clean air, but it is to say there is a middle ground,” Hartley said. “We need common sense for business but solid policies for preserving our resources and quality of life that, quite frankly, Connecticut is known for.”

The 15th Senate District covers parts of Middlebury, Naugatuck and Waterbury.