Cohen takes town's five voting districts to beat Rubin
Nitzy Cohen triumphed tonight over the Republican party endorsed candidate, Stephen Rubin, according to unofficial primary results in the race for the 136th district state representative seat in Hartford.
Including absentee ballots, Cohen garnered more votes in each of the town's five districts, coming in with a total of 830 to Rubin's 581.
Speaking at gathering of about 20 of the GOP faithful at Arcudi's in Westport, Rubin said the results left him feeling "sheer disappointment."
In a prepared statement to the Westport News, Rubin said: "I want to say `thank you' to all those Westport Republicans who came out for me at the primary. I will continue to be an advocate of Westport. A special thanks goes to my fantastic wife Toni and my treasurer Ted Youngling."
"She did a better job getting out the votes, and I congratulate her for that," he added. "The Democrats got what they wanted."
Cohen, who forced the primary after securing enough signatures on a petition, will now face off against Democrat Jonathan Steinberg, a longtime member of the Westport's Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
Cohen was at home this evening awaiting results. Once they came in she showed up at Arcudi's and was greeted with applause. She said she was "overwhelmed" and "humbled" by the results.
"I think I ran as close to a perfect campaign as possible. I had one month to collect signatures and one month to get out the vote," Cohen said.
"This is not about me," she added. "It's about who will do the right thing. We're just a channel and I'm humbled to be the one from the 136th district."
Cohen is no stranger to the race for the 136th seat. She ran unsuccessfully two years ago against state Rep. Joe Mioli, who is not seeking re-election.
"We look forward to taking on the Democratic opponent and the mismanagement of the state legislature in Hartford."
Rubin said he will support Cohen's candidacy. "I am a Republican," he said. "I will support our cause in November."
Still, he was candid about Cohen's prospects.
"I don't think Nitzy has a chance in hell against Jonathan Steinberg and that's not sour grapes," Rubin said.
In response, Cohen said, "Steve is in the shock of the moment. I understand his disappointment. I've been in that movie before."
As for her chances against Steinberg, she said she's just running against "another Democrat."
"We surely don't need another Democrat in Hartford. We need a balanced government."
Steinberg was checking in periodically on election results while at home watching the New York Mets game.
He said, "I'd like to congratulate Nitzy, who is an experienced campaigner. I know she'll be a formidable opponent starting tomorrow. I'd also like to reach out to Steve, a colleague and a friend, who at least has the consolation that he'll be able to continue his work on the RTM."
Touching upon Rubin's comment that Cohen doesn't stand a chance against him, Steinberg said, "I will take that as an endorsement."
"We [Cohen and him] have significant differences about how we approach change," he said, adding that those differences will emerge in the months leading up to November.