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After being snubbed by Republican delegates earlier this year, Matthew Jalowiec obtained enough signatures to force a primary for the Probate Judge race and his efforts proved worthwhile, as he defeated endorsed candidate Peter Bowman in Tuesday's primary election.
Jalowiec, who lives in Cheshire, received just two of the 28 delegate votes for Probate Judge at the Republican convention earlier this year, but he was undeterred in his quest to be on the ballot this fall. Cheshire and Southington voters had to decide between Jalowiec and Bowman as the Republican challenger to square off against Southington Probate Judge Bryan Meccariello, in the newly-created 18th Probate District. Jalowiec defeated Bowman by nearly 500 votes: 1,936 to 1,464. While Bowman won Southington by nearly 30 votes, Cheshire residents resoundingly supported Jalowiec, with 1,066 votes to Bowman's 570 votes.
"I am overwhelmed and overjoyed. I am deeply appreciative of all the support, not just in Cheshire, but also in Southington," Jalowiec said. "This just wasn't a victory for me, but a victory for the people. I didn't run for the (Republican) party, I ran for the people. I wouldn't have even been a candidate, if it weren't for the people."
Jalowiec forced the primary after obtaining more than 650 signatures from registered Republicans in both towns. Jalowiec felt his "experience, integrity, and commitment" to probate law carried him to victory. He said that the role of probate judge is not a political office, but a judicial one and "the people saw that as I do."
"The (Republican) party and I differed drastically on the vision of what this office is about. I believe it's a judicial office to serve the people, administer the law fairly, and to help people," he said. "I didn't use politics to win. I used common sense and hard work. This is not a political job and I'm not a politician. I'm an attorney."
Besides the Probate Judge race, which has garnered many headlines over the last few weeks in the local media, there were additional candidates on the ballot. The winners around the state were also the majority choice in Cheshire, except for the Republican race for Lieutenant Governor. While voter turnout was low across the state, hovering around 20 percent, Cheshire saw a better turnout, with roughly 30 percent of registered Democrats and 38 percent of registered Republicans casting ballots on Tuesday.
Republicans and Democrats were able to vote for a handful of races that will ultimately be decided in November. Unaffiliated voters could not vote in the primary, but now a slate of candidates has been determined for the fall for what surely will be an intense political season. Local Democrats had their say on four different races, including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, and Comptroller. In Cheshire, the popular choice for Governor was Dan Malloy, Lieutenant Governor was Nancy Wyman, Secretary of the State was Denise Merrill and Comptroller was Kevin Lembo. Cheshire Democrats, like Democrats across the state, went with their party's endorsed candidates across the board.
Besides the top two posts in the state, Republicans also cast votes for United States Senator, U.S. Representative, and Attorney General. For Governor, Cheshire residents, like the rest of the state, voted for the endorsed candidate Tom Foley. However, for Lieutenant Governor, a majority of Cheshire residents voted for Lisa Wilson-Foley, while endorsed candidate Mark Boughton won the statewide primary. All the other races fell to the endorsed candidates in both Cheshire and the state, with Linda McMahon securing her U.S. Senate bid, Sam Caligiuri winning the 5th Congressional District primary, and Martha Dean garnering support for her Attorney General campaign.