“Wow — what a night!” McGorty told supporters during brief remarks at a victory celebration.
McGorty defeated Democrat Arlene Liscinsky in the 122nd District that includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull. Both McGorty and Liscinsky live in Shelton.
He will fill the seat of the late Larry Miller, a Stratford Republican who died in May at age 78 after serving in office for almost 24 years.
McGorty will be sworn into office on Friday and said his priorities in Hartford are simple.
“Cutting state spending is the number one task,” he said. “Also, creating jobs and keeping people in Connecticut.”
McGorty won the election by 1,403-459. The breakdown by town was Shelton, 1,016-337; Stratford, 272-65; and Trumbull, 115-57.
During his victory celebration, McGorty thanked family, supporters and state Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton for their assistance. Perillo, also a Republican, helped run McGorty’s campaign.
Perillo congratulated McGorty for running a strong campaign. “That man works,” Perillo said of McGorty. “That’s how you run a race. That’s how you win.”
McGorty credited his win to working hard during the campaign. “I went door-to-door, working at it right away after winning the nomination,” he said.
McGorty is a longtime Shelton Board of Fire Commissioners member and Huntington volunteer firefighter. He also is a part-time deputy fire marshal and housing code official in the city as well as a real estate agent.
McGorty was elected to fill out the current term of Miller, which goes through the end of this calendar year. It’s unlikely he’ll have to cast any votes during the term, with the state Legislature out of session until early 2015.
McGorty will be busy trying to hang onto the legislative seat, however.
First, he faces a Republican primary on Aug. 12 to run for a full two-year term this fall. His primary challenger is Michael C. Vickerelli of Stratford.
McGorty is the party-endorsed candidate.
Then the winner of the GOP primary will compete in the Nov. 4 general election, with two independent candidates likely to be in the race.
After his decisive Tuesday victory, McGorty said Vickerelli’s challenge seems unnecessary and only serves to divide the party and the towns within the district.
“We have to keep this momentum going because we have a primary on Aug. 12,” McGorty told supporters at his victory celebration.
On election day, Liscinsky — like McGorty — had visited all five polling places to meet with people as they were about to cast their ballots.
Liscinsky said most voters wanted to talk to her about federal issues, such as immigration and Obamacare, although some expressed concerns involving state issues as well.
She praised people who made the effort to cast a ballot voted in the special election on a humid summer day.