Republican Ryan Fazio flips seat in Connecticut Senate special election

A special election was held on Aug. 17 for District 36 of the Connecticut State Senate. Ryan Fazio (R) defeated Alexis Gevanter (D) and John Blankley (I) in the general election. Unofficial results on election night had Fazio winning with 50.1% of the vote with all precincts reporting. Gevanter and Blankley earned 47.6% and 2.3% of the vote, respectively. Fazio will serve for the remainder of the term ending in January 2023.

The seat became vacant after Alex Kasser (D) resigned effective June 22, citing her ongoing divorce proceedings as the reason for her resignation. Kasser was elected in 2018, earning 50.4% of the vote and defeating incumbent Scott Frantz (R). She won re-election in 2020 with 51.4% of the vote.

Heading into the special election, Democrats had a 23-12 majority in the Connecticut Senate with one vacancy. Connecticut has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of August, 51 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 18 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. Connecticut held 40 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

Fazio’s win marked the first flipped seat as a result of 2021 state legislative special elections. In special elections between 2011 and 2020, one party (either Republicans or Democrats) saw an average net gain of four seats nationally each year.

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