Republican Tom Foley sent a note to supporters conceding defeat to incumbent Democrat Dannel Malloy in the high-profile race for Connecticut governor, a rematch rife with Election Day polling problems that remained too close to call hours after the polls closed.
"We did not win, but we were on the field and fought a good game," Foley wrote in the letter, which was posted on his campaign website. "Our ideas will be on citizens' minds as our leaders steer us forward. You will have an opportunity to fight for those ideas again."
Foley said earlier in the day he did not plan to run again if he lost.
With 94 precincts reporting, Malloy had 51 percent of the vote to Foley's 48 percent. They were separated by about 20,000 votes. Petitioning candidate Joe Visconti, who had thrown his support to Foley, had 1 percent of the vote.
"We came very close," Foley wrote in the letter to supporters. "Our appeal for change in Connecticut --- pro-growth policies including lower taxes, more responsible spending, and more support for job creators -- was endorsed by more than 48 percent of Connecticut voters. Governor Malloy won this election with fewer votes than we won in 2010."
Despite the razor-thin margin, Malloy took to the stage at a Hartford function hall early Wednesday and announced to a cheering crowd, "We are in the position to declare victory."
The outcome of the race was complicated by problems at polling places in Hartford Tuesday that prevented some residents from casting their ballots. President Obama went on the radio to urge voters who couldn't vote to return to the polls later, and a judge ruled that two Hartford polling places could stay open half an hour later because of the issues.
Secretary of State Denise Merrill said voter turnout appeared to be on track to exceed her original prediction of 55 percent. She said it could be as high as 65 percent, attributing the jump to the first-time availability of same-day voter registration in a statewide election.
Much of this year's gubernatorial campaign focused on Connecticut's economy. While Malloy contends the state has turned a corner and the jobs picture has improved under his leadership, Foley claims the Democrat's policies, including higher taxes he proposed, have slowed the state's economic recovery and stymied job growth.
Meanwhile, Democrats were able to retain control of all five of the Nutmeg State's congressional seats.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty fended off a challenge from Republican businessman Mark Greenberg, winning a second term representing the 5th Congressional District in northwestern Connecticut. The seat was considered to be one of the GOP's best chances for victory this year.
"When you look at the situation across the country, this is not an easy year," said Esty, who thanked a crowd of supporters, promising she couldn't wait to "get back to work and roll up my sleeves."
Third Congressional District Rep. Rosa DeLauro easily won a 13th term representing the southern Connecticut district, defeating Republican high school teacher James Brown. Also, Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney won a fourth term representing the 2nd Congressional District in eastern Connecticut. He defeated Republican Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh.
Democrat George Jepsen won his second term as attorney general Tuesday, defeating Republican Kie Westby of Southbury and Green Party candidate Stephen Fournier of Hartford.
Appearing at the Connecticut Democrats' election night headquarters in Hartford, Jepsen thanked the crowd and the voters.
"I am humbled beyond words to serve again as your state attorney general," he said. "You can count on me for the next four years to be there for you."