Second Time’s a Charm for Fazio; State Senate 36th District Returns to Republican Camp

On Tuesday night the waiting came to an end in the three way race for State Rep 36th district between Republican Ryan Fazio, Democrat Alexis Gevanter and petition candidate John Blankley.

The district includes Greenwich and parts of New Canaan and Stamford.

Greenwich had been on pins and needles awaiting the results of the special election to determine who would fill the remainder of the Alex Kasser’s term.

The special election was called because incumbent Alex Kasser, a Democrat, resigned suddenly in June citing a contentious divorce. Her victory over incumbent Scott Frantz in 2018 had ended a century of Republican control.

In 2020 Fazio challenged Kasser and lost in a close vote.

Though Greenwich has traditionally been a Republican town, today in Greenwich there are more registered Democrats (12,435) than Republicans (11,973) in town, but the largest group are unaffiliated (15,917). That made the race anyone’s bet.

Add in the question of the impact of Blankley’s run as a petition candidate.

At 10:18pm, the Registrars of Voters released the numbers for Greenwich:

Gevanter – 5251
Fazio – 6010
Blankley – 313

Fazio will complete the remainder of Kasser’s term which runs through 2022.

Turnout in Greenwich for the special election for State Senate on Aug 17 was about 28%.

Via phone, Fazio said, “I want to thank the voters of this district for putting their faith in me. I love the people and the community, and I’m going to work very hard.”

Fazio said he also planned to work to earn the trust of the people who did not vote for him.

“I’d like to thank everyone on my campaign team who worked so hard to make this happen. It was very much a team effort and reminiscent of what this community is about, which is camaraderie and everyone pitching in.”

In a statement Tuesday night, Gevanter wrote, “I entered this race because Connecticut is a great place to live, work and raise a family. I wanted to make it even better by doing what I’ve always done which is to listen, bring people together to find common ground, and deliver results.”

“We didn’t have much time to get our message out in this brief special election, but I am so proud of the campaign we built together and everything we did accomplish,” she continued. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me today and everyone who volunteered, knocking on doors and making phone calls.”

“Despite tonight’s disappointing results, my commitment to the very values that make our community the inclusive, kind, and caring place we are all proud to call home has never been stronger.”

In his statement, Blankley said that while the outcome of the election was not the one he would have wished, he congratulated Fazio on his win and sent him the message that he should concentrate on representing all the voters of the 36th district.

“I want to thank all my supporters, friends and team members who helped me in this campaign. Long term friends came to my assistance yet again and I will always be grateful for their sterling support which made this a very fulfilling experience,” Blankley said.

“My objective was to offer the voters of the 36th district a choice in who should represent them in Hartford. I have the skills and experience to do the job but above all I believe that it is the right of the people to decide who should be their senator. I felt strongly that partisan politics were obscuring the people’s purpose. And as I campaigned, I heard more and more that voters were looking for solutions and were tired of pointless political bickering.”

“It is instructive that the largest voting block is now the unaffiliated voters. I am proud of a campaign that gave these voters a voice and especially proud that I achieved 8% of the total votes cast, the highest recorded for an unaffiliated candidate in the history of Greenwich. In the face of the most intense suport from the highest levels for my opponents, we still achieved an historic vote total.

This campaign should now be seen as an indication that there are voices that want to be heard and who are not properly represented by either of the major parties. I hope that my actions will inspire good people to step forward in the political process – a right afforded to all the people. I will conclude by saying that I thank all those voters who expressed their confidence in me. There is room for a third force in our politics and I hope I have shown the way.”