Labriola maintains seat in House

State Rep. David K. Labriola, right, is congratulated by his father Dr. Jerry Labriola at Rose’s Family Restaurant in Oxford on Tuesday after being re-elected to represent the 131st House District. -STEVE BIGHAM/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

OXFORD — Incumbent Republican state Rep. David K. Labriola easily maintained his place in Hartford representing the 131st House District after coasting to victory Tuesday over Democratic challenger James Krochko.

Labriola, 58, secured his ninth term in office with a 7,048 to 3,371 victory over Krochko.

The 131st District covers Oxford and parts of Naugatuck and Southbury. Labriola, an Oxford resident, has represented the district since 2003.

At Rose’s Family Restaurant in Oxford on Tuesday, Labriola thanked his supporters for giving him 68 percent of the vote and said he’s looking forward to returning to his seat in Hartford “for my constituents against tax increases and on behalf of small business.”

Labriola — a heavy favorite going in to the campaign — said he always worked hard, never taking his advantage for granted.

This week’s victory was particularly sweet as Labriola and his wife, Joanna, got married back in August. After a honeymoon trip to Italy, the couple returned to Oxford in late September and have been on the campaign trail ever since. He admitted he was tired, but was in good spirits Tuesday night.

“To quote Keith Richards (of The Rolling Stones), ‘I may not look so good, but I’m feelin’ real well,’” Labriola joked to his supporters.

Krochko was gracious in defeat and said he was proud of his campaign.

“We gave people a choice. We didn’t win, but we gave them an option,” said Krochko, a neophyte to politics at just 19 years old.

The young political hopeful, who also lives in Oxford, said he knew he had an uphill battle. This year’s race was only the second time Labriola had an opponent.

“All but two times he has run unopposed,” Krochko said. “We did everything we could.”

Labriola’s re-election solidifies him as one of the longest-serving representatives in Hartford. He said he represents what he calls a “common-sense community.”

“The people of the Valley are strong supporters of the Republican message against higher taxes and more spending,” Labriola said. “I’m proud to serve them.”