Veteran House Lawmakers Lose Primary Elections

Election 2022

Two long-serving Democratic members of Connecticut’s state House lost August 9 primary elections to political outsiders.

In West Haven, Representative Louis Esposito, Jr., first elected in 1992, lost the Democratic primary by 22 votes to Michael DiMassa, a 24-year-old New Haven city employee.
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Esposito had to petition his way onto the primary ballot after losing the party’s nomination for the 116th House District race to DiMassa in April.

Six-term House member Ernest Hewett took just a third of the votes in the Democratic primary for the 39th District, losing to non-profit leader Chris Soto in New London.

Soto, 35, founded the New London-based non-profit Higher Edge after serving five years as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Eight other incumbent lawmakers—six Democrats and two Republicans—survived primary challenges Tuesday.

Senator Terry Gerratana won 67% of the Democratic primary vote to overturn a challenge from New Britain Board of Education chair Sharon Beloin-Saavedra.

Gerratana, co-chair of the legislature’s Public Health Committee, has held the 6th Senate District seat since winning a special election in 2011.

Bridgeport Primaries

In Bridgeport, site of four primaries, Senator Marilyn Moore defeated Bridgeport City Council president Tom McCarthy, the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for the 22nd Senate District.

Moore, who co-chairs the legislature’s Human Services Committee, was first elected two years ago after defeating incumbent Anthony Musto in a primary.

Senator Ed Gomes, who needed a court ruling to appear on the Democratic ballot for the 23rd Senate District after losing the party’s endorsement in April, won his primary race.

Eight incumbent state lawmakers—six Democrats and two Republicans—survived primary challenges.

Gomes, co-chair of the legislature's Labor and Public Employees Committee, took 54% of the vote to defeat Bridgeport Board of Education chair Dennis Bradley.

Three-term representative Charlie Stallworth turned back a challenge from Bridgeport Board of Education member Maria Pereira to win the 126th District Democratic primary.

Representative Andre Baker, Jr., first elected two years ago, survived a challenge from realtor Charles Coviello, Jr. in the Democratic primary for the 124th District.

Other Races

First-term Democratic representative Terry Adams turned back a primary challenge from attorney Dan Dauplaise in Stamford’s 146th House District.

Hamden Democratic Town Committee member Joshua Elliott won the party primary to run for retiring House Speaker Brendan Sharkey's 88th District seat.

Elliott won 54% of the vote, defeating Hamden Legislative Council President James Pascarella, the party's endorsed candidate.

In Bristol, social worker Laura Bartok defeated student Christy Matthews and will challenge first-term Republican incumbent Cara Pavalock for the 77th House District seat in November.

State Representative Jay Case, one of two Republican incumbent legislators who faced primaries, defeated former Winsted Board of Education member David LaPointe in the 63rd House District.

Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission chair Ruth Parkins lost her primary challenge against five-term Republican incumbent Jason Perillo in the 113th House District.

State Senate Primaries

District Town Party

Endorsed Candidate


Winner/Vote %

6th New Britain D

Terry Gerratana*

Sharon Beloin-Saavedra

Gerratana (67%)

22nd Bridgeport D

Thomas McCarthy

Marilyn Moore*

Moore (63%)

23rd Bridgeport D

Dennis Bradley

Ed Gomes*

Gomes (54%)

*Incumbent legislator

State House Primaries


District Town(s)


Endorsed Candidate


Winner/Vote %

39th New London D

Ernest Hewett*

Chris Soto

Soto (66%)

63rd Colebrook, Goshen, Torrington, Winchester R

Jay Case*

David LaPointe

Case (67%)

77th Bristol D

Laura Bartok

Christy Matthews

Bartok (82%)

88th Hamden D

James Pascarella

Joshua Elliott

Elliott (56%)

113th Shelton R

Jason Perillo*

Ruth Parkins

Perillo (90%)

116th New Haven, West Haven D

Michael DiMassa

Louis Esposito, Jr.*

DiMassa (51%)

124th Bridgeport D

Andre Baker, Jr.*

Charles Coviello, Jr.

Baker (69%)

126th Bridgeport D

Charlie Stallworth*

Maria Pereira

Stallworth (52%)

146th Stamford D

Terry Adams*

Dan Dauplaise

Adams (65%)

*Incumbent legislator


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