Update: Zupkus wins fifth term in 89th District

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Elio Gugliotti, Editor

State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus, R-89th District, right, waves to voters as she campaigns at the Prospect firehouse Tuesday alongside, from left, Robert DeNomme, Carol DeNomme and Mike Dreher. -ELIO GUGLIOTTI

PROSPECT — Unofficial numbers showed state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus, a Republican, earned a decisive victory over Democratic challenger Edward J. Maher III in the race for the 89th House District seat.

Zupkus, 54, of Prospect, was first elected to represent the 89th District, which includes Prospect, Bethany and part of Cheshire, in 2012 and has served continually since then.

According to unofficial results, Zupkus won with nearly 64% of the votes. The results show Zupkus received 9,313 votes to Maher’s 5,310.

“Thank you to everyone and especially Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect. I am truly grateful for your support to go back to Hartford, represent you and continue the hard work that needs to be done. It is an honor to be your voice and serve you,” Zupkus wrote on her campaign Facebook page Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday night, Zupkus, who is the state director for Best Buddies Connecticut, a nonprofit organization that works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, said she is close to her constituents, people appreciate what she does, and feels she serves the district well. She said Tuesday’s results reflect that.

“It shows that I am in line with my constituents and that they have faith in me and believe in me, and that I’m in Hartford representing them to make Connecticut a better place,” she said.

Edward J. Maher III, right, the Democratic challenger in the 89th House District race, talks with Leigh Carmody, left, and Doug Stuke while campaigning at the Prospect firehouse Tuesday. -ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Maher, 40, of Bethany, serves on the Bethany Community School Board of Education and is a Norwalk firefighter. The campaign was his first for a seat in the state legislature.

“I think overall this campaign was a great chance to introduce myself to the district, I made a lot of meaningful connections with a lot of people and I look forward to building on those connections in the future,” Maher said Tuesday night. “There is so much good work to be done in our district. I have been working to serve my community for as long as I can remember and I will continue to do so going forward win or lose.”

Zupkus said her main focus for the next two years will be to keep taxes in check. She said people don’t mind paying their fair share of taxes, but rising taxes are putting a burden on residents and businesses.

“We want to keep Hartford out of our pockets, out of municipalities and out of businesses, and let businesses thrive,” she said.