Democrat Rosa DeLauro easily grabbed her 10th victory in the 3rd Congressional District race Tuesday.
But her victory party at the Playwright restaurant on Temple Street was more about the Democratic Party and presidential candidate Barack Obama than it was about her.
"We are going to make this happen. It will be a Barack Nation," DeLauro told more than 100 supporters who gathered at the restaurant to watch election results.
With news broadcasts dribbling in results, DeLauro cheered early Democratic wins in Congress.
"Yes, it's a great night for Democrats," said DeLauro, 65, who first won the seat in 1990. In an interview, DeLauro said that with a Democratic-led Congress the party would be "in a position to really govern, to really get things done."
The feisty Democrat from New Haven also said she looked forward to tending to some unfinished business in her next term.
That business includes the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act that DeLauro authored, which aims to equalize pay for women. Another pending issue is the proposed Breast Cancer Protection Act, which would make it mandatory for insurance companies to allow women to stay in the hospital up to 48 hours after surgery for breast cancer. Both proposals gained House support and still need to be voted on in the Senate.
DeLauro also promised to continue to support the residents of Middletown in their discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers over a new regional military training facility to be built in the city. DeLauro has pushed for the public release of the legal opinion that the Army used in its decision to stay in Middletown, and has opposed the fact that the Army kept a site on Boardman Lane on its list after residents harshly opposed it.
DeLauro was contested by Republican Boaz ItsHaky, 49, who ran for first selectman of Bethany in 2005 and for the state Senate in 2006; and by Green Party member Ralph Ferrucci, 36, a former mayoral candidate in New Haven who has also run for U.S. Senate and the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Middletown, Middlefield and Durham, as well as much of New Haven county.
ItsHaky said he is now gearing up for his 2010 run for DeLauro's seat. Ferrucci said he is considering another run for mayor of New Haven.
"Tonight, we are at a turning point, a historic moment of unprecedented challenge and opportunity," DeLauro said. "But we have to seize it. We have to make good on the great promise of a new kind of politics. Change does not just happen. We have to make it so."