WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A special election was held Tuesday in West Haven to fill the 116th District seat in the State House left vacant by Michael DiMassa.
Unofficial results as of 10 p.m. from the Secretary of the State’s office show Democrat Treneé McGee as the winner with 52.04% of the vote in West Haven and 100% of the vote in New Haven.
McGee received a total of 572 votes, more than 100 votes over Republican Richard DePalma and more than 500 votes over Independent Portia Bias.
Following the news of the election results, McGee told News 8 she is excited, thankful, and ready to get to work for her community. She said she wants to move past the recent scandal associated with the 116th district seat by establishing honesty and transparency with the voters.
“I also want to restore hope in my community,” she said. “I think that that’s so important. And once constituents know their value – especially from those who are representing them – I think we’ll even see more people come out and vote and be a part of building and restoring our community.”
McGee grew up in West Haven and currently serves on the city council, recently starting her second term.
Ahead of the vote at the former Molloy School in West Haven, the moderator told News 8 more than 200 voters have come through the polling place, which is a decent turnout for a special election.
Three candidates were on the ballot: Treneé McGee (D), Richard DePalma (R), and Independent Portia Bias.
Ahead of the results, DePalma said, “the State of Connecticut we have a lot of problems with where the funding goes. And I really want to crack down on making sure everybody’s doing their jobs.”
Bias said, “first we have to gain back their trust again and then we have to suggest other ways that our economy can get out of our deficits.”
These candidates ran to fill the empty state representative seat last held by DiMassa in the 116th district, which includes parts of West Haven and New Haven.
Earlier Tuesday, DePalma and Bias told News 8 they would accept the results of the election if they didn’t win.
DiMassa resigned in October after being accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal COVID relief funds. He has since been arrested and charged with wire fraud.
Under state law, the governor is required to hold a special election within 46 days of the seat becoming vacant.
Voters on Tuesday told us it is important to them to cast their ballots to help move the city forward.
“I don’t know the individuals involved,” voter Joseph Gibson said. “I know they made some really bad choices. Unfortunately, they are choices that are and will affect us as a community. So, again, coming out today doing my part it’s important.”
We are waiting on official results. We will bring those to you on WTNH.com and the News 8 app as they become available.