DANBURY, Conn. -- "I will keep trying," were the words of Republican Emanuela Palmares after learning she had lost the 110th House District race to Democratic incumbent Bob Godfrey, who has been in office for 13 terms.
If she had been elected, Palmares, 33, would have been the first Brazilian-American to win state office in Connecticut.
Addressing the crowd at the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge in Danbury on Tuesday night, Palmares said, "We wanted to be able to do it. I am so grateful for being a part of this process.
"We are going to keep trying. I will be back again in two years, asking for your help," she said.
She said she learned a lot from the process. "If I had the confidence to run and work hard, I learned that from both my parents, Celia and Gene.
"Danbury is a place I'm very proud to be a part of," Palmares said, adding, "We're not a dumping ground.
"While tonight is disappointing, the vision remains. Our fight is not over," she said.
Palmares said she knocked on over 5,675 doors and spent over 200 hours on the campaign.
Chris Cuhsnick of Danbury, volunteer coordinator for the campaign, said Palmares worked every day for more than six months to make countless sacrifices for her vision for Danbury.
Palmares, who came to the United States when she was 10, works two jobs — as editor-in-chief of Tribuna, a biweekly publication in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and at her father's business, Amazon Concrete, in Brewster, N.Y.
Issues she feels strongly about include making sure schools are funded based on need, limiting cuts to senior programs and the growth of small businesses in the Danbury community.