Stefanowski, Lamont win state primaries
The Democratic gubernatorial primary was a landslide called in less than an hour, and the Republican race saw a winner some would call a surprise pull away early and never look back.
Roughly 30 minutes after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Associated Press had called the Democratic gubernatorial race for Lamont.
Both winners linked their opponents to current office holders: Stefanowski comparing Lamont to current Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, while Lamont focused on President Donald J. Trump in his victory speech.
Lamont holds an edge of roughly 80% to 20% over Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, re-elected to local office after serving time in prison for corruption, with 162 of 169 towns reporting Wednesday morning.
Stefanowski took an early lead among Republican candidates for governor, with Danbury Mayor and endorsed candidate Mark Boughton, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and David Stemerman jockeying for second, third and fourth. Steve Obsitnik was fifth.
As of 7:30 Wednesday morning, Stefanowski, a Madison businessman, had 29.3% of the vote, Boughton was second with 21%, Stemerman third with 18.4%, Herbst fourth with 17.6%, and Obsitnik fifth with 13.5%. Five towns still had to report GOP results Wednesday morning.
Unofficially, the Secretary of the State’s office reported Republican turnout at 32.59%, Democratic turnout slightly over 30%.
However, Lamont tweeted Wednesday morning that he received 171,658 votes, while all five Republican candidate combined totaled 142,890.
Herbst, Stemerman and Obsitnik all conceded around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, and by 10:45 p.m. Stefanowski, who skipped the Republican convention, was declared the winner after Boughton gave his concession.
“So I think it’s fair to say this campaign has been underestimated from the start,” Stefanowski said shortly after 11 p.m.
“But we proved them wrong and we will prove them wrong in November when we beat Ned Lamont,” he added.
Stefanowski said he would reach out to his primary opponents to discuss how Republicans could wrest the governor’s mansion from Democrats Nov. 6.
Lamont likewise predicted victory in November, saying he and Democrats would “turn the state around.”
“You guys more than anybody know that elections matter,” Lamont said. “We found that out the hard way 18 months ago and his name is Donald Trump.
In a victory speech delivered before the Republican result was known, Lamont said, “These are not George and Barbara Bush Connecticut Republicans we’re running against, it’s a new breed of Trump Republican and we are not going to let them take over our state.”
Susan Bysiewicz handily won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor over challenger Eva Bermudez Zimmerman with 62% of the vote.
In the Republican race for lieutenant governor, Joe Markley beat New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, with Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson third.
Stamford legislator William Tong won a three-way Democratic primary for the attorney general nomination with 57% of the vote as of Wednesday morning, well ahead of former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei and Paul R. Doyle.
The Republican nomination went to Sue Hatfield, the endorsed candidate, with nearly 80% of the vote. Her challenger, former state Rep. John Shaban, who unsuccessfully ran against U.S. Rep Jim Himes (D-4) two years ago, did not carry his hometown of Redding and finished with about 20% of the vote.
Republican Matthew Corey will challenge Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy in November after beating Dominic Rapini, 77% to 23%.
Endorsed Republican candidate for treasurer Thad Gray turned back challenger Art Linares, 55.9% to 44.1%. On the Democratic side, Shawn Wooden had more than 56% of the vote, compared to 44.4% for Dita Bhargava.
Kurt Miller turned back the challenge of Mark Greenberg for the Republican nomination for Comptroller, the endorsed Miller winning 52.6% to 47.4%.