Antonio "Tony" Guerrera easily won re-election to the 29th House District on Tuesday. The Democrat bested his Republican challenger, Todd Brown on a vote of 10,395 to 3,311, according to figures compiled by the Hartford Courant.
In other notable races, incumbent Democrat Paul Doyle late Tuesday was leading his Republican challenger, Joe Dinunzio, on a vote of 14,066 to 8,087 in the 9th Senate District race, the Courant reports.
Voters also overwhelmingly approved a $10.1 million bonding appropriation for farmland preservation on a vote of 4,936 to 2,481. Voters additionally passed, 5,207 to 2,033, a multi-town plan for $800,000,000 in improvements for the second phase of the MDC's sewer plant improvements.
Local voters approved the open space referendum by almost 2:1 Tuesday.
According to Jessica Dumas, assistant to Town Manager Barbara Gilbert, the town sent an "explanatory text" to residents approximately one week before the vote to publicize the measure, but it was worded neutrally, as required by law. She conceded that individual councillors may have performed their own advocacy in support of the referendum. Councillor Frank Szeps acknowledged that he and some of colleagues on the Town Council employed "phone networking to get people to at least understand why we want them to support it."
As voting hours drew to a close, Szeps stated that he was "anxiously awaiting the results to see if we can protect our existing farmland." Referendum backers canvassed outside the polling center at the Rocky Hill Community Center throughout the day. Their yellow "Vote Yes Question 1" placards were sandwiched among various candidate signs. Chris Parsons supplied one of the votes that helped pass the referendum.
"I think it's important," he declared. "I grew up here and lived here, and I think it's sad to see the open space dwindling away." Robert and Brenda Stevens cited kinship as the basis for their support for the measure. "We have some close friends in town who have a farm," Brenda explained. Angela Palumbo, who also voted "yes", reinforced the importance of protecting Rocky Hill's farms. "I think it's a great idea to preserve our limited farmland." And Mark Roy, another supporter, recalls, "This town used to be all farms. I was a part of it when I was a boy." Roy also believes the town should defend its open spaces "so the animals have a habitat."