Businessman Ned Lamont SOM ’80 on Tuesday secured the Democratic nomination in Connecticut’s gubernatorial race, defeating Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim in a landslide. On the Republican side, Bob Stefanowski, another businessman, upset the state party’s endorsed candidate, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, to emerge from a crowded field.
Lamont entered the Democratic primary as the clear favorite, having received the endorsements of a number of high-profile politicians and groups, including Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Yale Union UNITE HERE. Ganim, by contrast, had to petition his way onto the ballot after failing at the Democratic convention in May to qualify for the primary. On Tuesday, Lamont claimed more than 80 percent of the vote.
In his acceptance speech, Lamont focused on Connecticut’s economy, telling mayors and other local government officials that he plans to work with them to solve Connecticut’s fiscal crisis.
“We can save millions and hundreds of millions of dollars by working together on shared services and that’s what I need to do moving forward,” he said in his speech.
The Republican race was far more crowded. Even after receiving the party’s endorsement at the Republican State Convention in May, Boughton lost to Stefanowski by an eight-point margin. Like Ganim, Stefanowski had to petition his way onto the ballot after failing to qualify for the primary at the convention. In addition to Boughton, his opponents were Greenwich hedge fund manager David Stemerman ’90, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, and Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik.
Early Wednesday morning, hours after the primary results were in, President Donald Trump endorsed Stefanowski via Twitter.
“It is about time that Connecticut had a real and talented Governor. Bob Stefanowski is the person needed to do the job,” Trump wrote. “Tough on crime, Bob is also a big cutter of Taxes. He will win in November and make a Great Governor, a major difference maker. Bob has my total Endorsement.”
During his acceptance speech, Lamont seized on Trump’s endorsement, painting Stefanowski as a candidate in the president’s image.
In the primaries for lieutenant governor, former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 won the Democratic nomination, and Republican state Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, the Republican nomination. In the attorney general race, state Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, will face Republican state prosecutor Sue Hatfield.
The general election will be held on Nov. 6.