Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

Inumbent Democrat Dannel Malloy is claiming victory in Connecticut's tight gubernatorial race. Malloy is shown here with fellow Democrats Mayor Donald Trinks and Registrar of Voters Anita Mips both of Windsor, CT at the town's  annual  Chili Challenge held in October.

Photo by Jacqueline Bennett  Incumbent Democrat Dannel Malloy is claiming victory in Connecticut’s tight gubernatorial race. Malloy is shown here with fellow Democrats Mayor Donald Trinks and Registrar of Voters Anita Mips both of Windsor, CT at the town’s annual Chili Challenge held on October 11, 2014.

 

While other states are now seeing red in the governor’s office, it appears Connecticut has stayed true blue – red being the color traditionally symbolic of Republican conservatives and blue representing liberal Democrats.

Incumbent Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, a Stamford Democrat, began claiming victory over GOP challenger, Greenwich Republican Tom Foley, in the early morning hours following the November 4 election.

At 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, with 90 percent of precinct results in, Malloy was reported to be ahead by 3 percentage points.

In a race projected to be extremely tight – neck and neck – just after midnight it was Foley in the lead by a small margin. However, as more vote tallies rolled in Malloy appeared at his election night headquarters in Hartford with running mate, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, to say he was confident of a win.

“Elections are about what we will accomplish,” Malloy told the crowd with his wife at his side, in a speech broadcast by local television networks.

Under his leadership, Malloy said critical investments had been made in Connecticut and graduation rates improved. He went on to say he will work to make the future better for everyone in the state including the “poor and the middle class” not just the rich – an apparent final swipe at Foley, a wealthy businessman.

The two had engaged in a bitter campaign battle.

Looking for votes? a campaig worker  outside one Connecticut polling site.

Looking for votes? A campaign worker outside one Connecticut polling site.

Windsor, Connecticut Mayor Donald Trinks, a fellow Democrat and Malloy backer was also confident this morning. “I’m thrilled the voters have given Dan Malloy four more years as governor. I truly believe that he will be able to, and need to work in sync with the legislature on both sides to keep moving Connecticut forward.”

Trinks added by e-mail, “Given how close many races were, the legislature has to take that as a mandate to work in a bipartisan fashion to deal with problems facing Connecticut.”

Meanwhile, without official results in and though not conceding the contest, Foley addressed his supporters saying it looked like he could lose.

“I feel priviledged to have been a part of it …. to try to move the state in a different direction,” said Foley, who lost to Malloy four years ago in another close contest.

At the juncture that Foley made his remarks, returns were not yet in from some of the state’s largest cities. However, they are historically Democratic strongholds.

ACROSS THE UNITED STATES the news in the wee hours was of a different hue – red to be exact. The GOP had picked up multiple governor’s seats, including one in traditionally blue Massachusetts. Republicans too, retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and took over control of the U.S. Senate. CNN reported the GOP now holds the largest majority in Congress since World War II.

With the mid-term election indicating a wave towards the GOP, voter unrest seems to have centered on a weak economy, congressional gridlock and concerns about national security in the face of continued threats in the Middle East – with a lot of finger-pointing and blame directed at President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Though some Democrat candidates chose not to have Obama campaign on their behalf, not so with Malloy who was seen front and center with the president in Connecticut only days before the election. Obama praised Malloy for his leadership role in raising the state’s minimum wage – an Obama policy initiative. Also stumping for Malloy was former President Bill Clinton. His wife, Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, is viewed as a likely presidential candidate for Democrats in 2016. New Jersey’s popular Governor, Chris Christi, whose name has been bantered about as a potential presidential candidate for the GOP in 2016, visited the Nutmeg State on behalf of Foley.

BACK IN CONNECTICUT not all voting went smoothly. In Hartford a number of polling sites reportedly did not open on time – voting was to take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The late openings resulted in a judicial ruling to keep two sites open until 8:30 p.m. In New Haven, same day registration and voting was said to have left potential voters waiting in lines two and a half hours long – a Yale University a cappella group showed up at the polls at town hall to entertain those who had to wait.

Competition for the secretary of state and state treasurer spots was also tight.

In other notable blue victories: early results showed Democrat Elizabeth Esty won re-election in her 5th house district congressional bout, and Democrat Congressmen John Larson and Joe Courtney were re-elected. As well, Democrat Ted Kennedy, Jr. is the newly elected state senator for the 12th district. He is the son of Ted Kennedy, Sr., the late U.S. senator from Massachusetts, and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.

Update 11/6/2014 According to official results, Dan Malloy won re-election.