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Price of a state Senate seat: nearly $600,000

January 21, 2019

Alex Bergstein’s $321,000 investment in defeating veteran Republican L. Scott Frantz for the state Senate seat representing Greenwich and parts of Stamford and New Canaan, was a lot of money for a $28,000-a-year job.

But it was Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, who spent more than $595,000, including more than half a million dollars in personal funds, which set the new state record for a state Senate seat, according to recent filings with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Needleman, a Democrat who narrowly defeated veteran House member Melissa Ziobron, spent more than $109,000 of his money in the days before and after the election, in setting the new record. While Ziobron participated in the state’s public-financing program, limiting her fundraising and spending, she was supplemented by a political action committee supported by a group of national Republicans.