Update, 11:08 p.m.
She may have won by only 15 votes in her first election in 2010, but Republican Brenda Kupchick gained a comfortable lead as she secured her second term as state representative for the 132nd District.
Kupchick won with a tally of 6,809 votes to Democratic challenger Sue Brand's 5,685 votes. The incumbent took leads in each of the eight town districts that the state's 132nd district overlaps.
"I'm overwhelmed to represent the district," Kupchick said as she spoke to a crowd of supporters at Republican Town Committee headquarters Tuesday. "But I'm more overwhelmed by the friendship and the people who rallied around me."
"Everyone came out to help me," she continued, "but more importantly, they came out to help our community."
Kupchick's campaign manager Alex Mullady was "very happy" for Kupchick, whom Mullady believes will "continue to work hard. She always has."
At the Democratic Town Committee headquarters -- just a few blocks down the road -- challenger Sue Brand expressed gratitude for her four children and husband, who each walked the polls for the 14 hours they were open today. Friend and fellow Democrat Rich Jacobs stumped on behalf of Brand for 12 hours, she said.
"I'm very lucky," Brand said. "I'm very proud of my campaign. No regrets."
As she tells her children -- "there's no shame in failing; only in not trying."
Republican Brenda Kupchick, who is currently serving her first term as State Representative for the 132nd District, will face off on Tuesday with Democrat Sue Brand, a current member of the Board of Education and former school board chair.
Prior to being elected state representative in 2010, Kupchick served on Fairfield's Representative Town Meeting (1999-2003, 2009-2010), the Board of Education (2004-2009), and the Parks and Recreation Commission (2004-2009).
Brand, a former cardiac intensive care nurse, served on several boards and committees, including the Board of Health, Cooperative Education Services, and the League of Women Voters. She is a former Tomlinson PTA President.
For Kupchick, running for office is "a call to service." For Brand, it's an opportunity to ensure "more effective representation in Hartford."
According to Kupchick, the biggest issues facing her district include high taxes, the need for job growth, and the need to improve schools and the state's mass transit system. Brand agrees on the need for more job growth and improving train service, and adds the cost of living in Fairfield and concerns about beach erosion and flooding.
Kupchick announced Monday night that she will be keeping a live blog of Election Day - the blog can be found here.
- Kupchick and her husband, Peter, own a small business in Fairfield. She founded the education advocacy group "One Voice" and is a longtime volunteer for animal rescue groups and shelters. She is a lifelong resident of Fairfield and graduated from the public school system and attended Fairfield University, according to her campaign website.
- Brand, who has lived in Fairfield for 20 years, was awarded the Deanna O. Kiernan Award in 2011, which is bestowed upon a "past or present PTA member that has proven to be a key volunteer in Fairfield Public Schools and who has made a system-wide contribution to further education in Fairfield," according to her campaign website.