Gibson Beats Suggs To Win 15th House District Race In Bloomfield, Windsor

Political newcomer Bobby Gibson beat former Bloomfield Mayor and state treasurer Joe Suggs in a special election for the vacant 15th House District seat Tuesday.

Gibson, the endorsed Democrat, received 881 votes to Suggs’ 748 in Bloomfield. Suggs received 106 votes to Gibson’s 41 in Windsor. Suggs, also a Democrat, made it to the ballot as a petitioning candidate. The district includes all of Bloomfield and one voting district in Windsor.

The vote totals were 922 for Gibson to 854 for Suggs.

At campaign headquarters, Gibson thanked his supporters and said he planned to “follow in the footsteps of a giant, David Baram,” whose seat he will be taking at the legislature.

Baram resigned after winning election as judge of the 3rd Probate District in November. Gibson will finish Baram’s two-year term.

Gibson, who overcame the embarrassment of a November DUI arrest, said Tuesday that he was concerned the incident would hurt him with voters, but that he relied on his faith in God to move forward.

Gibson was pulled over early in the morning of Nov. 16 for driving without his headlights on, police said. After smelling alcohol in his breath, the officer arrested Gibson, and a subsequent test revealed that his blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

Gibson has apologized for his mistake.

Suggs, 77, who campaigned on his experience and ability to get right to work at the state Capitol, offered his congratulations to Gibson and wished him a successful term at the legislature.

It is likely the last attempt at public office for Suggs, who said he will focus his energies on mentoring “a plethora of young and talented individuals” who are embarking on political careers.

Bloomfield resident Michael Cohen, who was among a handful of people voting at the town’s leisure services building early Tuesday evening, said he cast his ballot for Gibson.

“I’m told that he has very good qualities and he works and lives in town,” Cohen said.

At Bloomfield High School, Erika Porras said she voted for Gibson because he’s always out in the community helping out.

Gibson, 51, and a middle school teacher in Bloomfield, said he looked forward to working on the issues he made his campaign platform, including education, the environment, and helping senior citizens, while learning the job of state representative.

“I’m going to listen to the people who helped get me where I am,” he said.

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