Voters overwhelmingly re-elect Hartley

Joan Hartley

WATERBURY — Voters have overwhelmingly returned Democratic state Sen. Joan V. Hartley to the 15th District seat she’s occupied since 2001.

According to unofficial results, Hartley received 87 percent of the vote in the 15th District, which includes parts of Middlebury, Waterbury and Naugatuck. It’s the second time she’s outpaced Independent Party nominee James K. Russell, who lost by a 5-1 margin in 2016.

“I am very grateful once again for the affirmation of the constituents of the 15th District, who have supported me for many years,” Hartley said.

She promised to continue “doing her homework and due diligence” to support the best outcomes for the district.

Hartley is a relatively conservative Democrat and has occasionally voted with Republicans against the Democratic majority. She sided with Republicans in a crucial budget vote in 2017 and voted against a minimum wage hike in 2014. Her conservative credentials positioned her as a key swing vote during the last session.

Hartley is a fixture on Waterbury’s political scene and was recently involved in a successful lobbying effort that brought millions of dollars for various city projects, including $10 million in state bond money for renovation of the former Odd Fellows Hall on North Main Street.