HARTFORD — Democrat Dan Malloy is Connecticut’s governor-elect. So is Republican Tom Foley.
Both candidates in the state’s hotly contested gubernatorial election announced that they have formed transition teams to help hire staff and cabinet members for their administration. Both camps expressed confidence that, once the votes were finally tallied, they would prevail.
Though it seemed through much of Wednesday that Malloy had won, as news outlets across the state named him the winner, late returns threw that outcome into doubt, and the race was once again too close to call by Wednesday night.
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Initial tallies on election night showed Foley ahead by 10,000 votes. But that margin shrank as Wednesday progressed, and just before noon Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 announced that unofficial tallies indicated a Malloy win by a margin of 3,103 votes. State law only requires a recount if the margin is smaller than 2,000 votes. Over 1.1 million total votes were cast in the race.
Following the announcement from Bysiewicz, the Associated Press named Malloy the winner in the race Wednesday afternoon, only to retract its call just before 10 p.m. the same day. At press time, CNN and the AP’s election data showed that Malloy gained 7,441 votes to Foley’s 1,579 in New Haven, which, according to the news outlets, had reported in full. The city registrar, though, put full turnout in the city at just over 25,000, with 22,298 for Malloy and 3,685 for Foley — nearly a 6-to-1 ratio.
In a press conference at 1 p.m., Foley called Bysiewicz’s decision to release unofficial numbers improper and added that he expects the margin of victory to be less than the one-half of 1 percent that would require a statewide recount.
In a 4 p.m. press conference, Malloy said he felt confident that he would come out ahead, and that he would maintain the 11,000-vote lead his campaign tabulated because they had “done [their] homework.”
“Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman have been elected governor and lieutenant governor of the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said, adding that “it’s time to turn the page.”
In the same press conference, which was held at the State Capitol in Hartford, Malloy announced that his running mate Nancy Wyman would serve as co-chairwoman on his transition team alongside Tim Bannon LAW ’77, the current executive director of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Bannon would also serve as chief of staff in Malloy’s administration, Malloy said.
Meanwhile, in a press statement issued shortly after 4 p.m., Republican Tom Foley announced that he, too, had started the transition to power. Gregory Butler, a lawyer and vice president of Northeast Utilities, and Brian Flaherty, a former state legislator from Watertown and one-time deputy minority leader in the state House of Representative, will lead Foley’s transition team.
“While we acknowledge that the outcome of this race remains uncertain, the next governor needs to be prepared to start work immediately upon swearing in. So I am not going to wait until the lead shown in our vote tabulations is confirmed before preparing to take office,” Foley said in the statement.
By the Foley campaign’s calculations, spokeswoman Liz Osborn said, the Republican will come out ahead of Malloy by around 2,000 votes.
Around 1:30 p.m., Foley and Bysiewicz went head-to-head on WNPR’s Colin McEnroe Show. When Foley questioned Bysiewicz’ numbers, Bysiewicz, who unbeknownst to Foley was in the studio, chimed in and offered to share results so that Foley could find the discrepancies between his campaign’s numbers and the unofficial tally.
With only 1.5 percent of precincts outstanding as of press time, Foley led by 8,424 votes. Bysiewicz’ projection of a 3,103-vote win for Malloy and Malloy’s predicted 11,000-vote win both contradict the Foley campaign’s projection that Foley will ultimately lead by 2,000 votes.
“Obviously, there’s something to be reconciled,” Osborn told the News.
Statewide, Malloy has won nearly 150,000 more votes in his bid for governor than Mayor John DeStefano Jr. did when he ran against incumbent Republican M. Jodi Rell in 2006.