STONINGTON — In a close race, Stonington Selectwoman Kate Rotella won the Democratic primary for the 43rd District state representative seat Tuesday, beating challeger Chris Donahue.
In complete, unofficial results, Rotella received 1,151 votes to Donahue’s 1,021, winning with 53 percent of the vote. She received 943 votes in Stonington and 208 in North Stonington, Donahue, received 910 votes in Stonington and 111 in North Stonington.
Hearing the vote count, Rotella was emotional as she stood with friends and supporters in the basement of Town Hall. “Thank you everybody I’m humbled and amazed and so happy,” she said. “I want to thank Chris for putting himself out there and stepping up and wanting to serve our community. I wish him best of luck in all his future endeavors.”
Donahue was not on site when the vote was announced but had stopped by to shake hands and greet supporters about an hour before.
Turnout among the Democrats was strong, with more than 47 percent of Stonington’s registered Democrats going to the polls. With the party split before the primary, Rotella emphasized party unity going forward. “Now we have to come together as Dems for the seat in November,” she said.
She also thanked her supporters for their hard work.
“I especially want to say thank you to my family and my friends who, during a very tough race, were so good to me and so supportive and picked me up and helped me, so thank you all, I love you all,” Rotella said to the small crowd’s applause.
She said she was ready to work with Democrat Bob Statchen, who is running for the 18th District state Senate seat against incumbent Republican Heather Somers.
“It’s going to be Bob and me in November and we’re looking forward to it,” Rotella said.
Rotella will face Republican Shaun Mastroianni in the November general election.