A decade ago, Bristol Republicans were so down and out that nobody in the GOP held office from Bristol except for a few positions that the law barred Democrats from possessing.
The mayor, the entire City Council and the city’s legislative delegation were all Democrats with one exception: Plymouth’s Bill Hamzy held a state House seat that included a portion of northwestern Bristol.
Things have changed.
In the wake of Tuesday’s election, Republicans from Bristol will hold a state Senate seat, Hamzy’s former state House seat and two City Council slots as well.
“We’ve come a long way,” said T.J. Barnes, the city’s Republican leader. “We were able to show we are a viable party in a tough town.”
Capturing the state Senate seat is a particular coup.
Bristol hasn’t had a GOP state senator in four decades, since Wallace Barnes gave it up in 1970 in an unsuccessful bid to gain his party’s backing for a gubernatorial run.
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