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135th District: John Shaban vs. Leon Karvelis

Democratic challenger Leon Karvelis looks to end Republican dominance of the 135th District.

135th District: John Shaban vs. Leon Karvelis

Update, Nov. 8 — 1:45 p.m.

The official vote tallies have been received from all three towns and are listed in the chart below. 

Update, Nov. 7 — 1:27 a.m.

"I am happy to receive a vote of confidence from my three towns and look forward to serving again," Shaban told Patch. "I am hopeful that my Democratic and Republican friends in the General Assembly will work together to finally put the private sector first, to finally get our economy going. I am privileged to be able to serve my friends and neighbors, and will do so with the same vigor I brought to my first term."  

Update, 11:28 p.m.

With 53 percent of the vote, John Shaban has won reelection, News 12 reports, which reports the following results:

  • John Shaban (R) — 6,588 votes
  • Leon Karvelis (D) — 5,660 votes
  • Gabriel Rossi (G) — 288 votes 

Update, 9:55 p.m.

State Rep. John Shaban edged challenger Democratic challenger Leon Karvelis by 93 votes, while Green Party candidate Gabriel Rossi took 84 votes, according to the registrar's office.

Weston Redding EastonTOTALJohn Shaban (R)* 2,536 1,723 2,3296,588Leon Karvelis (D) 2,534 1,630 1,4975,661Gabriel Rossi (G) 102 84 140326

(*indicates incumbent)

Update, 12:06 p.m.

State Rep. John Shaban and his Democratic challenger, Leon Karvelis, both remained optimistic heading into Election Day.

"I'm feeling good about the entire event," Shaban said. 

Karvelis said he's confident in his chances. 

"I have done my best to convey to people my positions, my background and my total dedication to public service," Karvelis said. "Now it is up to the voters to make their decisions. I am very optimistic and certainly believe that I have a good chance of winning and then going to work on behalf of the people."

Shaban said he was disappointed with some mailers he claimed were inaccurate, a claim Karvelis denied.

"I am, however, somewhat disappointed by the tone and rhetoric that got injected into some of the state office races," he said. "There really is no need for the nasty and inaccurate mailers that we have seen. It degrades the entire process to the desperate tabloid nonsense we see nationally. Hopefully it will not affect the races or the voters' confidence in the process."

Karvelis said he hopes to represent Weston, Redding and Easton in Hartford.

"I am very glad when campaigning to have met so many kind, thoughtful folks in Redding, Weston and Easton, and I have faith in them," he said. "Whatever their ultimate decision, I am honored by their consideration and, as I am certain my opponent agrees, I cherish a democratic system that provides people the opportunity to decide whom they wish to carry their voice and values to Hartford." 

Original article:

Before John Shaban was sent to Hartford in 2010 to represent the 135th District as a Republican, fellow GOP member John Stripp did the same for nine terms. Today, Shaban's looking to extend that streak.

But not if Democratic challenger Leon Karvelis has his say.

For Shaban—who works as a lawyer—jobs and the economy are the two most important things facing Connecticut. He told Patch earlier this year that increased spending and rising tax rates are detrimental to the state. 

“Last year, the governor and majority Democrats increased spending by almost a billion dollars a year, and sought to support this spending by passing the largest tax increase in state history—increasing income, sales and estate taxes, and levying new taxes on everything from children’s socks to nonprescription drugs,” Shaban said. “The result of this ‘government comes first’ approach is the current state deficit projection, a downgrade in our bond rating, and a continuation of the poor job and business growth we have seen for decades. Simply put, I think Leon would help those who are dragging us down the wrong path.”

Karvelis, who serves on the Region 9 Board of Education and worked both as a teacher and in the private sector, thinks the area deserves a choice that's different than the typical Republican dominance. Earlier this year, Karvelis identified a number of issues he thought were facing Weston, Redding and Easton. 

“The problems I would like most to focus upon include unfunded state educational and operational mandates, the serious issues related to Lyme disease, the unending upward trajectory of property taxes, the need for regional services cooperation to achieve greater municipal operating efficiency, maintenance of quality schools, protection of our watershed and open spaces, and improvement in regional road and rail transportation and related safety issues,” he said.

Both men live in Redding.

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