Ned Lamont Becomes Governor-Elect of Connecticut


Democrat Ned Lamont is now Governor-elect of Connecticut. Republican Bob Stefanowski conceded the governor's race on Wednesday morning.

Stefanowski made the initial concession announcement during an interview on the Chaz and AJ radio show around 8:50 a.m., then posted a statement on Facebook and Twitter.

The announcement comes following a race for governor that was too close to call through Wednesday morning. Both campaigns called it a night around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and said they would wait for more votes to be counted in the morning.

Shortly after Stefanowski's announcement, Lamont released a statement.

“Earlier this morning, I received a call from Bob Stefanowski. After a long campaign, he could not have been more gracious, and I could not be more appreciative. I look forward to working with him, because we all need to come together – regardless of party – to solve our state’s biggest challenges. I’m humbled and I want every resident to know how grateful I am for this extraordinary honor. I will work every day – honestly and thoughtfully – to move this state forward and be a champion for Connecticut."

Lamont delivered his first remarks as governor-elect at noon at Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford.

Some issues at the polls Tuesday delayed the counting of some ballots. 

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said ballots at some polling locations were wet, so they not able to be fed through the tabulation machines to be counted. Those ballots could are being counted by hand, she said.

At the time of Stefanowski's announcement, Lamont had 48 percent of the votes and Stefanowski had 47 percent with 91 percent of precincts reporting. Less than 10,000 votes separated the two and there are still a number of uncounted votes.

The Lamont and Stefanowski campaigns both called it a night and said they would wait for Wednesday for the final votes to be counted.

The other issue that surrounded the race between Stefanowski and Lamont involved same-day registration of voters.

Hundreds of people in New Haven spent hours trying to register to vote before the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday.  Merrill said the registrar's office in New Haven "took some shortcuts" to make sure about 100 or so voters were registered in time.

Stefanowski's campaign asked a judge Tuesday to separate those ballots until it could be determined if they could be counted. 

According to Merrill, a judge did agree to set aside those ballots but ruled they could be counted as provisional ballots in the event of a close race.

On Tuesday, State GOP chairman J.R. Romano told NBC Connecticut that the issue was not resolved and there would be a hearing on Friday.

After Stefanowski conceded, he said the hearing would be canceled.

Voters across the state also weighed in on one US Senate Seat, re-electing incumbent Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, over Republican Matthew Corey.

Voters also decided to make two amendments to the state constitution. 

One ballot question asks whether the constitution should be changed to ensure transportation revenues are spent on transportation projects. The second amendment calls for placing limits on the General Assembly when it attempts to transfer or sell state-owned property to a non-state entity.

Other statewide races include Secretary of the State, between incumbent Denise Merrill, a Democrat and Republican Susan Chapman, treasurer, between Democrat Shawn Wooden and Republican Thad Gray, Comptroller, between incumbent Kevin Lembo, a Democrat, and Republican Kurt Miller, and attorney general, between Democrat William Tong and Republican Sue Hatfield.

While not a statewide race, the race for US House of Representatives in Connecticut's 5th District has captured a lot of interest. 

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced she would not run for a fourth term in the wake of allegations of abuse in her office and decided to retire after her handling of those allegations became public.

Manny Santos is the Republican Party candidate for the seat and Jahana Hayes, is the Democratic Party candidate. Hayes claimed victory Tuesday night, but the race was still close and Santos has not conceded.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes has been re-elected to a fourth term in the House representing the southwest corner of Connecticut. The Democrat on Tuesday defeated Republican candidate Harry Arora, an investment manager who grew up in India and became a U.S. citizen after coming to the states for graduate school.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney has won re-election to a seventh term representing eastern Connecticut. The Democrat from Vernon has represented the 2nd Congressional District since 2007.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro is returning for another term in the U.S. House seat she has held since 1991.

DeLauro, a Democrat, was re-elected Tuesday for a 15th term. She was facing a rematch against the same Republican challenger from the previous election, Angel Cadena Jr., a Marine Corps veteran and truck driver from Shelton.

DeLauro is 75. She says her highest priority is improving the economy and ensuring economic policies benefit families and businesses in her district, including the city of New Haven.

Cadena had called for exploration of ways to ease traffic and endorsed the idea of a bridge over Long Island Sound to connect the New Haven area with New York state. During the campaign, he joked about the GOP not giving him money because it wanted to spend it on races it could win.

For the live results on all the Connecticut races, click here.

For more on midterm elections, click here.

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