Sprague First Selectwoman Catherine “Cathy” Osten decisively beat State Rep. Tom Reynolds, D-Ledyard, in Connecticut’s 19th Senate District Primary Tuesday (Aug. 14) to get the Democratic nomination. Osten was the top vote-getter in eight of 10 towns.
Osten, 56, said after the votes were counted that the win “means the world” to her.
She may have been helped by the endorsement of the much loved and soon-to-be-retiring State Senator Edith Prague, D-Columbia.
“I expected this to be a nail biter,” Osten said, even though she spent a lot of her campaign the old-fashioned way, going door to door to talk with voters.
Osten received more than 57 percent of the votes with a total of 2,269 compared with 1,666 for Reynolds.
Some of the key votes came from with Norwich voting 782-512, Lisbon 180-55 and Columbia 237-103. Reynolds was the top vote-getter in his hometown of Ledyard, 425-73.
Reynolds, 45, conceded to Osten less than an hour after the polls closed Tuesday night.
Celebrating her win at T J’s Cafe in Baltic, Osten said Reynolds “immediately” gave her his endorsement for the upcoming November elections, where she will now face Republican State Rep. Chris Coutu, R-Norwich.
Coutu has already been endorsed by the Republican party.
Due to last year’s redistricting, Osten will run to represent a geographical area that includes Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Norwich, Sprague and part of Montville.
Osten has served as the first selectwoman in Sprague for three consecutive terms and chose to run for the state Senate thanks to Prague’s “push.”
Osten thanked her friends and family for their support in the primary election. She said her mother, Patricia Osten, “called every senior in Norwich” to make sure they voted.
“I have no worries moving forward,” Osten said. She intends to continue campaigning door-to-door and said she will go through another “six pairs of shoes” to make sure she reaches “each and every home.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to have the confidence of voters. I will continue to focus on jobs and the economy,” Osten said.
Tuesday night, Reynolds said he is “committed” to getting Osten elected in November.
While at his campaign headquarters in Norwich, he said he had no regrets about his primary campaign. “This is the best campaign I’ve ever run,” he said.
Reynolds said he feels Prague’s endorsement “definitely helped” Osten.
Prague is popular with senior citizens — who tend to vote more in primaries and elections — in her district.
Not sure what the next step will be for himself, Reynolds said his 18-years as a state and local official “isn’t a bad run.”
“This is a tough life for a family with children,” he said. Referring to his defeat, he said,“These things happen for a reason.”
However, Reynolds said, he will continue to serve his community. “I can’t imagine running for office again. But, just after an election is not the night to decide anything,” he said.
Posted Aug. 15, 2012 as edited by, and with photo and link added by, HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan
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