Cohen Retains Senate Seat
Incumbent Democrat Christine Cohen fought off a tough challenge for her State Senate 12th District seat from newcomer Paul Crisici. Cohen did tally more ballots than her opponent, but the race was a bit closer than expected, with Cohen winning by approximately 5,000 votes, before the absentee count.
Crisci said he was disappointed in the results but satisfied that his message resonated with voters and said he is hopeful that some of the issues brought up during the campaign will be given further attention. Though this was the candidate’s first foray into the political arena, the experience was positive overall, according to Crisci.
“You get to meet a lot of people and hear their concerns. I think you start to become very invested when you hear what’s important to them. You actually feel like you have a responsibility to get things done. That’s the reason politicians run for office because they have a passion for this because you want to be a servant to the public” Crisci said. "That’s the hardest part, I guess. When you lose, you feel like you’ve failed them because those people were hoping you could fulfill their expectations or ease their concerns. But other than that it was a fantastic experience. I said this on social media, I tip my hat to Christine Cohen, she ran a clear campaign. No mudslinging. She ran on her record and her points…and at the end of the day, I think it was well done. She's been able to establish her base after four years and they came out strong. The results speak for themselves.”
According to Crisci, the feedback he got from residents while campaigning that most impacted voters were economic ones that many conservatives claim are being ignored by those in Hartford.
“People said to me that they thought I was sincere in what I did because I don’t talk out of both sides of my mouth, I do what I say, and say what I do,” Crisci said. “I think that meant a lot to voters, and I think they were willing to give me a chance, to see what I could do. I think I was a good listener too.”
Crisci said it was too soon to make any decisions on any plans involving his political future.
“You take inventory, it’s taxing. I don’t think the average person understands how difficult campaigns are. To put your time, family, and emotions behind this is taxing, it really is. It’s one of those things where have to do a full inventory of what you did, especially when it’s your first time. When you’re an incumbent it comes with the territory, but when you run for the first time, you really have to look at the big picture. Do I love it? I really do. I love the political landscape and I love helping people. But it’s time to take a deep breath.”
Cohen said she was satisfied with the results and believed her win was based on her record in Hartford, as well as national issues that permeated many races across the State.
“I am incredibly pleased with the election results here in the 12th district, the State of Connecticut, and beyond. I have been working hard for the towns that I represent for the past four years and I think that resonated with voters. There was a clear recognition that while we have a lot of work to accomplish, we are headed in the right direction with a maxed-out Rainy Day Fund, the elimination of our structural deficit due to the pay down of pension liabilities, and the opportunities for tax relief,” Cohen said.
Cohen said that she felt reproductive rights and gun safety issues were at the forefront of voters’ minds on election day.
“We saw an overwhelming response from the voters on Election Day. The turnout was great, and I think that was due to issues that were of particular importance to constituents. I heard from residents over and over again that they were voting to protect reproductive rights and gun safety laws here in our state, or that they were concerned with economic conditions nationally but pleased with Connecticut’s direction and wanted to see more in that vein, or were worried about the environment and wanted climate action,” said Cohen “These were some of the top concerns that based on conversations with the electorate, drove folks to the polls and decisions on their ballots.’
Cohen said her top priorities in Hartford include mitigating the dire economic climate facing the State’s economy, and affordable housing among other issues.
“I intend to take those top constituent issues to heart when I approach the new session in January. Working to drive economic prosperity while maintaining fiscal responsibility will be a primary goal, as will continued work on important environmental issues such as waste management, resiliency, and mitigating climate change,” Cohen said. “I hope to further connectivity by way of multi-modal transportation and also continue my focus on affordable healthcare, be it prescription drug pricing, insurance reform, or coverage of additional services. Ultimately, I take my cues from constituents and their wants and needs, which will serve as my compass for a successful legislative session.”