My Election Day
Interestingly, despite reports from everywhere in America, it seemed, Fairfield did not have lines that stretched on for hours. When Deb went to vote at 8:30 a.m. there was a small line and short wait and when I voted at 2:30 there were a mere two people ahead of me. And yet, close to 90% of Connecticut voted yesterday.
I did my shift of poll greeting from Noon until 2 or so and it was nice seeing many a familiar face. It also gave me a chance to get to know Robert Belitto, who serves on our Board of Finance but never had a chance to chat before.
I returned to the polls at 7:30 and was inside as the doors were locked at 8. Our two optical readers had to be carefully shut down with paper tape results printed out and verified before revealed. I killed time chatting with my Republican counterpart and a high schooler hired by cable news 12 to call in the results (not bad work for $40). Once the tapes were hung up, we copied the two sets of numbers, did some scratch math, compared our results and then phoned our respective headquarters.
Here, we had a closely watched race as New England’s remaining Republican representative, Christopher Shays, faced political newcomer Jim Himes. Shays has always been a moderate voice within his party and is personally well liked by all who have encountered him. He was trounced at the polls with a lopsided defeat and in some ways I’m saddened since the GOP need more moderate voices.
Locally, I was delighted to see Tom Drew have a very strong showing in the 132nd district so he returns to Hartford for a third term. Similarly, Kim Fawcett’s energetic campaign won her a second term. Her opponent, 20-year old Amanda Parks had campaigned virtually through some very well written newspaper ads and nothing else. She still got plenty of votes from several Fairfield districts that are heavily Republican and voted in lock step.
Our biggest disappointment was losing the 134th seat to Republican challenger, and my fellow RTMer, Tony Hwang. He campaigned vigorously compared with Tom Christiano’s “stealth” campaign so he has become a one-term wonder.
The Democrats partied at the Southport Brewing Company and there was much cheering, back slapping and fallout speculation. As I walked in the door, First Selectman Ken Flatto grabbed me and had me call out the District 8 results so now I know how the town crier must have felt. I then repeated them for the woman manning the giant oak tag tote board and was finally able to relax.
We were all surprised to see Shays concede before 10 and then turned out attention to the state by state results. It was fun as CNN counted down the final 10 seconds before the west coast polls closed. Moments later, they updated their tallies and called the election for Obama and the rousing cheers rang out for quite a while.
Talk already turned to next year’s local RTM race followed by 2010’s Gubernatorial campaign which should be starting any minute now. The cycle continues.