2016 CTLCV Election Analysis
A lot happened in CT this election cycle. We are just starting to analyze the new makeup and dynamic of our state House and Senate and its impact on environmental priorities. 36 of CTLCV's bi-partisan slate of 48 endorsed candidates won their races. We used our Independent Expenditure PAC to target three priority races in the Senate, and to expand our reach to new voters across the state. One third of all candidates running for office sought CTLCV’s endorsement this year. Many used our endorsement at some level, either as part of their campaign literature, news releases, or public statements. Here are some of the results.
SENATE: 36 seats
14 endorsed by CTLCV (10 won)
9 Democrats endorsed (5 won: Bye, Gerratana, Kennedy, Duff, Flexer)
5 Republicans endorsed (5 won : Witkos, Formica, Kelly, Boucher, Hwang)
The Senate flipped four seats from D to R, changing majority from 21D/15R to a tied 18D/18R. Lieutenant Governor is now a 19th deciding vote that can break ties, making the Governor’s administration a member of the Senate democratic caucus. As such, democratic majority in Senate appears to have retained leadership status. The Senate will have four Republican freshmen: Len Suzio, Heather Somers, Craig Miner, George Logan. The first three 3 defeated our priority candidates. The defeat of top champion Senator Dante Bartolomeo was a terrible blow. But another top champion, Senator Mae Flexer, retained her seat in tough race.
HOUSE: 151 seats
34 endorsed by CTLCV (26 won)
26 Democrats (19 won)
8 Republicans (7 won)
The House flipped 4 seats from Republican to Democrat, and 12 seats from Democrat to Republican, for a net gain of 8 Republican seats. Democratic majority narrowed from 87D/64R to 79D/72R. Defeat of champion incumbent Phil Miller will be sorely felt. But long-time champion Mary Mushinsky retained her seat in a tough race, and Environment Committee co-chair James Albis thankfully retained his seat by 14 votes after a recount. All of our House Republican endorsees except Aundre Bumgardner prevailed, many endorsed for the first time and who will need to be brought up to speed on key issues and asked to help in their chamber. The new House Speaker will be Representative Joe Aresimowicz who earned CTLCV’s endorsement this election and who we hope will advance environmental legislation in the chamber.
Below is a full list of 187 elected legislators who take office in January 2017. Many of them responded to CTLCV’s environmental survey. Click here to view the surveys of the candidates who responded to the environmental survey.
Red denotes CTLCV's endorsement of that candidate during the 2016 election.
The outcome this year was the loss of some key people swept out with the anti-incumbent backlash. This may have been due more to the state's fiscal mess than it was driven by the Presidential race or any other single issue. In sum, we need to follow up with legislators on both sides of the aisle to ensure they have the vision and willpower to shepherd our state forward on environmental issues. Many freshmen in both chambers are untested on their concern for the environment. We must ensure they are informed about important issues as they grapple with their new responsibilities and look for reliable sources to guide them. Now more than ever, we need to have more consistent communications with our friends in office to keep environmental issues part of the main stream discussion at the state legislature. CTLCV members will be an essential part of this effort, so be sure to check back for information on upcoming legislation.
We have our work cut out for us!
The 2016 election information on this website is paid for by the CTLCV Political Action Committee. This message was made independent of any candidate or political party. Contributions to the CTLCV PAC were made by CTLCV, Inc., League of Conservation Voters, Inc., and David Bingham. Additional information about the CTLCV PAC may be found on the State Elections Enforcement Commission's internet website.