Voters send Zupkus back to Hartford

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State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89), right, and supporter John Vamos greet voters outside of Community School in Prospect Tuesday. Zupkus defeated Democratic challenger Vickie Nardello to win a second term in office. –LUKE MARSHALL
State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89), right, and supporter John Vamos greet voters outside of Community School in Prospect Tuesday. Zupkus defeated Democratic challenger Vickie Nardello to win a second term in office. –LUKE MARSHALL

PROSPECT — As the vote tallies rolled in Tuesday night it quickly became apparent that Republican incumbent Lezlye Zupkus would be representing the 89th House District for a second term.

Zupkus, 48, was re-elected to represent the district, which includes Bethany, Prospect and a portion of Cheshire, after defeating Democrat Vickie Nardello by an unofficial count of 5,731 to 3,940, which does not include absentee ballots.

“It’s an honor. I’m happy that people in all three towns believe in me and allow me to continue to represent them and fight for their interest,” Zupkus said.

Zupkus, a Prospect resident, earned her first term in office in 2012 after beating then-incumbent Nardello. Nardello had served as state representative in the district from 1994 until her loss in 2012.

Zupkus, who is the state director for the nonprofit Best Buddies Connecticut, won in all three towns. She said the voters believe in her message and the work she is doing as state representative.

“The voters are very happy with what I’ve done,” Zupkus said. “I think my constituents and I believe the same way. We believe it’s about the economy, jobs, and overtaxing and overspending. We have to change the course of this state. I’m honored to continue to fight for the people in the district and, quite honestly, the people of the State of Connecticut. We worked hard. It came through and showed that people believe in me.”

Upon finding out she had lost the election Nardello, 63, of Prospect, told her volunteers at her headquarters on Route 69 that she was thankful for all their hard work on the campaign.

“Everybody worked very hard. I’m thankful for all the work everybody did. There were many people who volunteered and they gave their heart and soul,” Nardello said. “Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to go or the way we might wish, but there were a lot of hardworking people out here and I’m very grateful for that.”

Now that she is headed back to Hartford, Zupkus said she will continue to focus on making the state a great place to live and work.

“I’ll focus on how we can work on really making Connecticut a great place to live and a great place where people can afford to stay and they want to stay,” Zupkus said.