NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut voters headed to the polls Tuesday to choose their candidates to replace longtime Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, a Democrat who resigned in June to care for her ailing husband.
Republican Dominic Rapini will face Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Thomas in the general election.
In the Republican race, Rapini, a sales executive for Apple and the party’s endorsed candidate, defeated state Rep. Terrie Wood, a Republican from Darien.
“Our campaign’s message of safe and secure elections and streamlined business procedures coupled with my nearly 35 years of technology and business experience clearly resonated with the primary voters,” Rapini said in a written statement following his victory. “Connecticut needs Republican leadership and Republican values now more than ever and I am committed to bringing those ideas to the state-wide ticket in November.”
Wood congratulated Rapini on Wednesday, saying her team is committed to helping him defeat Thomas in November.
“While last night [Tuesday] was not the result we hoped for, our campaign is thankful to the many supporters for our shared vision for the Secretary of the State’s office,” Wood said. “Our message of mandatory voter ID, increased communication with our election officials and citizens, along with cutting red tape for small business resonated with so many!”
On the Democratic side, Thomas defeated New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond. Each of them had pledged to oppose Republican attempts to tighten voting rules.
Thomas, who is Black, has said such restrictions hit close to home, considering her father grew up during the 1940s in Georgia and never really learned to read and her mother worked two jobs for most of her life and didn’t drive. It took an hour-long bus ride and a long walk along a highway to reach the nearest department of motor vehicles branch to register to vote.
News 8 has reached out to Bond for comment and is waiting to hear back.
Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.