State Rep. Kevin Ryan successfully defended his 139th House District seat Tuesday, fending off Republican challenger Leon Moore.
Ryan, a 10-term incumbent from Montville, also defeated Moore in 2010.
“I appreciate the confidence the people of the district have put in me,” Ryan said. “A lot of hard work has helped and it paid off.”
The district was reconfigured since the last election. It still covers part of Montville and all of Bozrah but no longer will it cover Franklin and Lebanon. Instead, the district added a middle sliver of Norwich.
The change did little to slow Ryan, 60, who will start a 21st year in the state legislature after an unofficial final tally of 5,555 to 2,338.
“There was an element of the unknown in Norwich and it was a relief to know I did well there,” he said. “It’s a Democratic city and working hard did pay off, and I appreciate that.”
Ryan heard the results at his Oakdale home before a planned celebration with the Democratic Town Committee at the Montville Polish Club on Maple Avenue. It was the end to a long day, which Ryan said began at 6 a.m. when he was the first to vote at Fair Oaks School in Montville. But the tabulation machine rejected his ballot, Ryan said, giving him a pause. Ryan went on to visit each polling place in each town twice, spending about an hour at each one.
In the end, though, Ryan’s experience appeared to be too much for Moore, 42, who entered the race in June after Montville City Councilor Dana McFee dropped out.
Moore said he ran into Ryan at different polling sites Tuesday, and commended his opponent on a well-run, “clean” race. The results, though, were “mind-blowing,” Moore said.
“The voters of Connecticut spoke and they voted for what they wanted,” Moore said. “Maybe I wasn’t forceful enough in getting my points across or getting myself out there, but when I’m seeing numbers like that, I’m not sure it would have made any difference because that’s pretty substantial. I’ll take it as it goes and see how the rest of the state comes out and how the country comes out.”