Special elections for the state legislature rarely attract attention beyond the boundaries of their states.
But in Connecticut’s 36th State Senate District (Fairfield County), which President Joe Biden swept last November, the victory of Republican Ryan Fazio Tuesday night was indeed drawing national attention.
Some observers even believe that Fazio’s taking a page from advice offered at the recent Republican National Committee meeting by economist Arthur Laffer and running on a strong anti-tax line might encourage Republicans to do the same in the California gubernatorial recall Sept. 14 and the Virginia race for governor in November.
“Biden won this district by 25 points in 2020, we flipped it RED!” tweeted Republican National Chairman Ronna McDaniel soon after Fazio was declared the winner. “The RNC was proud to work with the @CTGOP to get out the vote.”
Small businessman and Resident Town Meeting (RTM) member Fazio rolled up a 50%-to-47% win over liberal Democrat and gun control activist Alexis Gevanter.
In the closing days of the campaign, Fazio, 31, strongly contrasted his commitment to “fiscal responsibility” with Gevanter’s support for “a new gas tax.”
“Connecticut voters just spoke loud and clear,” said former state House GOP Leader Themis Klarides, who is considered a strong prospect to run for governor next year. “They are ready for change in Hartford.”
The special election was caused by the resignation earlier this year of Democrat State Sen. Alexandra Kasser, who cited her long-running divorce as a distraction from her legislative duties.