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Murphy, McMahon Win State; Shays Takes Fairfield

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Democrats voted with the rest of Connecticut in choosing Chris Murphy as their candidate for U.S. Senate. The town's Republicans, however, bucked the statewide trend and leaned toward Chris Shays.

Statewide, Linda McMahon won the Republican Party's primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Joseph Lieberman. The former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and 2010 nominee defeated Shays, Fairfield County's former congressman.

Among Fairfield’s voters, however, Shays gained more support than statewide. Shays won 51 percent of the vote in Fairfield to McMahon's 49 percent, according to preliminary results from the registrars of voters. Shays picked up 1,529 votes in Fairfield to McMahon's 1,459.

Some at the town’s polls said they disliked McMahon’s behavior on TV when she was CEO of the WWE. Others said they voted for Shays because of his 11 terms in Congress.

“There are two good candidates, and I went with experience,” Susan Dowling said after she voted at Fairfield Woods Middle School.

For McMahon supporters in Fairfield, a driving issue was the economy. Some said they trusted McMahon because of her business experience.

“Shays is just a career politician who I think has always been wishy-washy,” small business owner James Cummings said. “And McMahon is a business person who knows how things run.”

On the Democratic side, Murphy beat former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. He polled similarly in Fairfield, winning 1,565 Democratic votes to Bysiewicz’s 496.

Some Democratic voters in Fairfield said they stuck with Murphy, the endorsed party candidate. But most said they were more focused on defeating the Republicans in November than which of the two Democrats won Tuesday.

“They both might be all right,” Fairfield resident Dorothy Blaustein said after voting for Murphy. “It’s just that he had more support. He has more chance of winning. I don’t want any Republicans in there.”

Voter turnout was low on both sides in Fairfield, but especially among the Democrats. About 21.1 percent of Democrats in Fairfield voted in Tuesday's primary. Republican turnout was 28.8 percent.

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