Even without final totals, Malloy appears to win rematch with Foley

Mr. Foley addressed disappointed supporters at his Greenwich headquarters on Tuesday night. — John Ferris Robben

Mr. Foley addressed disappointed supporters at his Greenwich headquarters on Tuesday night. — John Ferris Robben

As the sun rose Wednesday, little new light was shone on who won the rematch for Connecticut governor — officially. But both candidates seemed to agree: It was likely the incumbent.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared victory shortly after midnight, after watching four hours of returns quantifying his neck-and-neck race with Republican challenger Tom Foley.

“We don’t have the final numbers, but we know what the big numbers are and we are going to win this thing,” Mr. Malloy said Tuesday night at his Hartford headquarters as ballot counting rolled into its second day. Six hours later, however, votes were still being counted and no winner had been formally declared as of Wednesday morning.

Mr. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman are set to hold a 2 p.m. press conference on Wednesday.

And while he said he was not officially conceding Tuesday night, Mr. Foley, a Greenwich resident, acknowledged that it looked as though Mr. Malloy was going to win. He did take a shot at Mr. Malloy for declaring victory before the final numbers were in and for speaking before giving him a call on Tuesday night, but told disappointed supporters that it looked like they had lost again. The race was a rematch of the 2010 election which Mr. Malloy won narrowly.

Shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Foley delivered what he said was going to be his concession speech. In his remarks, he took pains to stress that he was not formally conceding while also acknowledging the projections for the race appeared too much for him to overcome.

“We are actually not sure we lost the race the same way he’s not sure he won the race,” Mr. Foley said. That created more loud cheers, but he quickly tamped them down. “Don’t get too excited because we probably have lost this race. I’m not going to confirm we’ve lost it until we’re sure we’ve lost it and when we’ve done that we’ll call Gov. Malloy and let him know.”

It was a roller coaster mood at Foley headquarters at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich. As early returns showed Foley out to a steady lead, cheers grew throughout the night, especially as good news continued to roll in nationally for the Republican Party, which dominated Congressional and gubernatorial elections across the country — except in Connecticut. However, as the hour grew late without an announcement, many grew tired and left to go home and when the race shifted back into Malloy’s favor, loud boos rang through the hall.

In what he said would have been his concession speech, Mr. Foley thanked the loud and passionate band of supporters left in what had once been a packed room and said how much he had enjoyed getting to know all of them during the campaign. He also thanked his “unbelievable wife,” Leslie, his running mate, former Groton Mayor Heather Somers and his whole campaign team and volunteers.

“I regret that I will not be able to deliver the change in Connecticut that we have dreamed about and feel would be in the best interests of our great state,” Mr. Foley said. “I was privileged to have worked together with you to pursue a different direction for Connecticut, which it looks like isn’t going to happen. But it was worth the effort and I particularly thank you for all you’ve done to help me along the way.”

Mr. Malloy, in declaring victory, said he won because the people of Connecticut wanted a minimum wage of $10.10, paid sick leave, the earned income tax credit, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the creation of 70,000 jobs, and “because we worked together, and when we asked for shared sacrifice, you responded, and what has happened in our state is really quite amazing.”

“We did this together,” Mr. Malloy added. “No matter how large the margin or how small the margin, we are standing here today.”

And while the state doesn’t appear to have turned in his favor, Mr. Foley can at least take solace in having a big win in his hometown of Greenwich. According to the town’s Registrar of Voters’ office, Mr. Foley and Ms. Somers got 11,518 votes from Greenwich compared to Mr. Malloy’s 9,975.

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