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Richard Blumenthal wins third term in U.S. Senate, defeating GOP challenger Leora Levy

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal talks with reporters after debating Republican challenger Leora Levy Nov. 4, 2022.
Mark Mirko
/
Connecticut Public
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal talks with reporters after debating Leora Levy Nov. 4, 2022.

Democrat Richard Blumenthal sailed to a third U.S. Senate term Tuesday night, handily defeating Republican challenger Leora Levy.

The Associated Press called the race for Blumenthal immediately after the polls closed at 8 p.m.

Shortly after, Blumenthal told a crowd of supporters that he had his eyes on special interests.

“I will fight to protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare but also lower taxes, cut inflation and fight for the people of Connecticut, putting them first,” Blumenthal said.

Levy conceded the race late Tuesday night in Trumbull.

“A few minutes ago, I called Sen. Blumenthal to congratulate him on his victory. And while we have very different visions for America, as well as different opinions on policy, I wish him well in the next six years.”

Levy, a political newcomer, has worked as a GOP fundraiser and received the backing of former President Donald Trump, who held a fundraiser for Levy at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

But Trump's political backing may not have been helpful in the general election, where Connecticut Republicans are outnumbered by unaffiliated voters and by Democrats.

Blumenthal, 76, was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and previously served as Connecticut’s attorney general. He pledged in his campaign to be a backstop for abortion rights in Connecticut and Democratic policies in Washington. Blumenthal has vowed to fight any effort in Congress to impose a national abortion ban that would override the law in Connecticut, where abortion is legal with restrictions.

“There’s only one team here who will fight to preserve and restore women’s freedoms to make health care decisions. These personal health care decisions should be made by women, not by government," Blumenthal told reporters at an event Monday in Hartford.

In a statement, the National Republican Senate Committee Chairman Rick Scott thanked Levy for her campaign.

Leora Levy Concession Speach
Ryan Caron King
/
Connecticut Public
Leora Levy speaks to supporters on Nov. 8 2022 at the Marriott Hotel in Trumbull after conceding in the race for Connecticut’s U.S. senate seat against Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

“She is a principled, common-sense Republican who isn’t afraid to take the fight to Biden and D.C. Democrats,” Scott said. “I look forward to see what she does next.”

Blumenthal maintains a high profile, as Connecticut Mirror/Connecticut Public's Lisa Hagen reported:

The senator’s work ethic and high-speed rate of campaigning have not changed from his early days in politics. Blumenthal, 76, attends multiple events a day throughout the state, election year or not. That has helped him become one of the most well-known political figures in Connecticut.

Blumenthal, who has served in elected office since 1984, easily won his past two Senate races, even after his first opponent spent tens of millions of dollars of her own money against him.

This story contains information from the Associated Press and Connecticut Public's Lisa Hagen, Matt Dwyer and Kay Perkins.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.