State Senate race heats up in Meriden - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State Senate race heats up in Meriden

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

While so much of Campaign 2016 is focused on the race for president, in Connecticut, republicans are trying to regain control of the State Senate, which is something that hasn't been done since 1996.

If state republicans flip the Senate, the 13th district will figure prominently in it.

On Monday, State Senator Dante Bartolomeo was reaching out to potential voters, and hoping for an outcome just like 2012 and 2014 when she knocked off Len Suzio.

"I really think we're going to do very well this year. The reaction has been phenomenal, the constituency base I’ve built over the last four years has been really significant, so I’m feeling good about it,” Bartolomeo said.

District 13 includes all of Meriden, all of Middlefield, and parts of Cheshire and Middletown.

Right now, democrats control the 36-member Senate, 21 to 15, so republicans would need to hold on to their current seats, while picking up four.

"The main challenge we have in the final day-and-a-half of this campaign is to convince voters there is a lot more going on besides the presidential race,” said Tom Scott, Suzio’s senior campaign advisor.

Suzio served as state senator in 2011 and 2012, and he is currently on the State Victim Advocate Advisory Board and actively fights against the state’s “early release” law.

"I don't have the tea leaves hear to read and I’m not clairvoyant, but my instinct would be a very, very close race,” Scott said.

While Gov. Dannel Malloy is not on the ballot, a quick look at the mailers from Suzio show the governor is prominent in their campaign. 

"The reality is we need more senators, willing to stand up to Gov. Malloy's job killing policies and specifically to kill in January, this hideous mileage tax the governor is pushing,” Suzio said.

"It’s really inaccurate, it's unfair, kind of the worst of politics, what he's been doing, but the issue of the mileage tax is completely basis. There is absolutely nothing to tie me to any activity about a mileage tax, I’m against a mileage tax,” Bartolomeo said.

Both camps will continue Monday night with the calls and the get out the vote efforts, including greeting voters at the polls on Tuesday. 

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