Ledyard residents are used to one of their own advocating for them in Hartford but after Tuesday’s election, they’ll have to cross the town line and the party line to have their voices heard.
Despite a victory for Republican Mike France, of Gales Ferry, in Ledyard, Tim Bowles, a Democrat from Preston, won the overall race for the 42nd seat in the state House on Tuesday.
France said that he lost the election by about 300 votes, which he thought would have come from people in Ledyard and Republicans in Preston.
“I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get as much from Ledyard and Gales Ferry,” he said of the final votes. “
France said he also expected more votes from Preston, which has more Republicans but it looks like they went with the local guy.
Republicans have a strong representation in elected and volunteer offices and locally, Ledyard residents voted Republican. But on the state level, Ledyard has been represented by Democrats for a long time.
“There can’t be party lines here,” said state Rep. Tom Reynolds. “When you’re in a sparsely populated part of the state, you have to stick together.”
Reynolds, a Democrat from Gales Ferry has been serving Ledyard in Hartford or four consecutive terms and will turn the seat, and his files, over Bowles in January.
Bowles has been living in the are for more than 35 years, according to his profile and was a Planning Analyst for the state of Connecticut. And, while Bowles has been a selectman for the town of Preston for two terms, Reynolds said they had a solid working relationship.
“I have a small number of files to hand over to Tim,” he said. “I have to debrief them on the plans going forward.”
Reynolds said some of the recent policies out of Hartford that impacted Ledyard are:
Secured state funding for tax exempt tribal land
Re-tooled the formula for education funding that worked in Ledyard’s favor in the agricultural program.
Re-worked the Pequot Fund Formula that nearly doubled Ledyard’s share of slot revenue.
While Reynolds is happy to leave the campaigning behind, Mike France said he really enjoyed the process.