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  [CT] State GOP Eager To Gain Ground In Special Elections
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Last EditedScott³  Jan 24, 2011 10:36pm
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News DateTuesday, January 25, 2011 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0

"After gaining 14 seats in the state House of Representatives in November, Connecticut Republicans are hoping for more in special elections next month.

Nine Democratic incumbents who won in November have decided to step down from the legislature, including six who will be working for the new administration of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The nine winners included veteran Democrats who routinely won elections and beat back numerous Republican challenges through the years.

But now with nine open seats — three in the Senate, six in the House — Republicans look forward to even more gains in the special elections Feb. 22.

Republican State Chairman Chris Healy predicts that longtime New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart will win the Senate seat held for the past eight years by Donald DeFronzo, who left the safe seat to work for Malloy as commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.

"We've got the best candidate we could have,'' Healy said of Stewart.

But Stewart, 49, is facing former state Rep. Theresa B. Gerratana, a well-known Democrat in New Britain who represented the city for 10 years at the state Capitol until 2003. Gerratana, 61, gained support at a recent fundraiser from high-profile Democrats, including Malloy and former gubernatorial candidate Bill Curry. The former co-chair of the legislature's human services committee, Gerratana lost in a race for Congress in 2004 against incumbent U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson in the 5th Congressional District."
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