By Andrew Larson, Republican-American
WATERBURY — Republican state Sen. Rob Sampson has won a second term representing the 16th District, garnering more than 54% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of the State’s Office.
By late Wednesday, Sampson’s Democratic challenger had not acknowledged Sampson’s apparent win.
Jack Perry, the owner of HQ Dumpsters and Rentals in Southington, said he wouldn’t concede until he sees the official results. He said Tuesday night that the numbers “kept changing” and he was not confident in them.
Perry went dark for most of Wednesday. Meanwhile, Sampson kept a low profile until about 7:30 p.m. when he announced his victory on Facebook.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have had an amazing team of patriotic and special people propelling us to victory this campaign cycle,” he stated. “I am proud to say that they chose to support me, not just because we are friends or because we belong to the same political party, but rather because of our sincere and mutual desire to defend the American principles of liberty, personal responsibility, and self-government — and also to rebuild and restore Connecticut prosperity.”
According to unofficial totals Wednesday afternoon, Sampson received 54.08% of 53,174 votes cast for the seat, which is 4,346 more than his opponent.
Perry, whose name also appeared on the Working Families Party and Independent Party lines, received 45.91% of the vote.
Regardless of the outcome, Perry said the campaign was an “amazing journey.”
“We really did something here,” he said. “We created this momentum and this energy, and at the end of the day, I look at things in a positive way. In a business, things don’t always go your way. You learn from it and you build from it.”
Sampson, who spent the day placing “thank you” placards on his campaign signs, said he was proud of his campaign.
“We did not even discuss my opponent or his positions,” Sampson said. “We stuck to my record and what I hope to accomplish in the state senate.”
Sampson won his first term representing the 16th District — which includes Wolcott, Southington, Prospect and part of Waterbury and Cheshire — in 2018 after his predecessor, Joseph Markley, ran for lieutenant governor. Sampson previously served four terms as state representative for the 80th District.