22-year-old Will Haskell defeats incumbent state Sen. Toni Boucher

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BETHEL -

Popular Republican veteran Toni Boucher was ousted by newcomer Will Haskell for the 26th Senate District during the elections.

Haskell is only 22 years old, which is the same number of years his opponent has been in state office.

He joined other local candidates in Bethel Wednesday and made a stop at the Sycamore Drive-In Restaurant, where he met some of the people who helped him get 53 percent of the vote.

"I was nervous about running for office at 22," says Haskell. "But, what I found is there's actually an excitement about my generation stepping off of the sidelines and into the voting booth."

Haskell graduated from Staples High School in 2014 and from Georgetown University in May. He started his campaign while in college and deferred law school to step into politics.

He previously interned for Rep. Jim Himes and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who joined him in Bethel.

Haskell says he knocked on more than 4,000 doors and held 142 meet and greets during his campaign, which led to a large following.

Much of his daily campaign operations were run by high school and college students, some not old enough to vote.

Haskell says he also connected with older constituents, and picked up a high-profile endorsement from former President Barack Obama.

He says his top priority in Hartford will be to ban ghost guns, pass safe storage laws, and to make sure people can't buy an unlimited number of weapons in one transaction.

This is the first time the 26th District has gone blue since the 1970s.

In a statement, Sen. Boucher congratulated Will Haskell for his strong campaign, saying in part "It is a big responsibility and and I am sure he will devote his energies to serving the people well. I am deeply thankful to the voters for having given me the rare and extraordinary honor of serving them here at home, on local boards and in the legislature in Hartford.”

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