What’s better than one Democratic special election pickup in a night?
Two. Two wins are better than one. And in Connecticut House District 120, Democrats just flipped their 39th state legislative seat of the cycle in Tuesday’s second red-to-blue flip (the first came in the New Hampshire House.) Democrat Phil Young won this seat 51-49 percent.
Young is a former town council member who quit his job as an executive chef to campaign full-time for this seat, which was vacated at the beginning of the year when the incumbent Republican resigned to become mayor of Stratford. Young, who will be the first Democrat to represent the district in 44 years, campaigned on three main priorities: increasing education funding, protecting the environment, and fighting the opioid epidemic (he lost two restaurant staffers to fatal overdoses).
This contest attracted outside help on both sides of the aisle; two local GOP mayors canvassed with the Republican, and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides also lent a hand. Young received help from state Rep. Joe Gresko, who represents the neighboring 121st House District, as well as endorsements from U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Even in blue Connecticut, flipping a seat that had been in Republican hands for over 40 years is a significant achievement, and this win should only feed the dread building within the GOP. Democrats are winning elections in districts of every stripe, and Republicans everywhere should be very, very frightened this fall.