Dems sweep statewide; Lamont, Blumenthal and DeLauro secure reelection
Lamont beats Stefanowski for the second time as Russell makes history as first gay Black person elected to statewide office in the nation.
Zoe Berg, Senior Photographer
While the United States wakes up to a divided federal government, Connecticut and New Haven will continue to be led by Democrats after Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Gov. Ned Lamont beat Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski once again, this time by nine points. The two first faced off in 2018, when the Democrat won by just three points.
In New Haven, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro marched to victory on Tuesday, beating her Republican opponent Lesley DeNardis — whose father was the last Republican to serve in Connecticut’s third district — by 18 points. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, as well as the city’s nine-member state legislative delegation, all Democrats, also won re-election.
New Haven voted for Democrats by a 4-1 margin across the board, but turnout dropped by a third compared to the 2018 midterms, according to the New Haven Independent.
“I am humbled and reenerged by the continued confidence New Haven has put in me,” DeLauro said at her victory party. “Thanks to the people of Connecticut I will continue to serve as Chair or Ranking member of House Appropriations and battle for hard working Americans, cutting their taxes and fighting to put money in their pockets.”
“We celebrate tonight, but we go back to work tomorrow,” she added.
All four Democrats who sought reelection to statewide public office prevailed on Tuesday night.
The ticket with Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz is leading by 10.4 points, with 86 percent of the vote counted. Attorney General William Tong is leading by 17 percent, with 77 percent of the vote tallied. With 86 percent of the vote in, Blumenthal leads by 12 percent. All three races have been called by the Associated Press.
Lamont and Bysiewciz declared victory over Republican challengers Stefanowski and Laura Devlin at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night after Fox News called the race in their favor. The Associated Press had not called the election when Lamont spoke, but has since called the election.
“Four years ago, voters showed up and chose progress over pessimism,” Lamont declared. “Tonight, they did it again, they showed that when you stand up to protect a woman’s access to healthcare, when you stand up to protect the middle class, and when you stand up to keep communities safe, you prevail,” said Onotse Omoyeni, spokeswoman for Lamont’s campaign.
Democratic candidate for Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas has prevailed in her election with a 9.8 percent lead with 86 percent of the vote, Sean Scanlon, Democratic candidate for comptroller, is expected to win with a lead of 10 points with 76 percent of the votes counted.
Erick Russell, Democratic candidate for treasurer, is expected to win with a 7.8 point lead with a 79 percent of the votes counted. All three candidates are replacing retiring Democrats.
Russell is the first New Havener elected to statewide office since 1986. That’s not his only historic accomplishment: Russell will be the first openly gay Black person to serve in statewide office in the nation’s history.
With the majority of votes counted falling in favor of the Question 1 ballot measure, most Democrats also have projected that Connecticut will become the 47th state in the union to permit legislators to enact policy authorizing early voting in the state. If the measure passes, Connecticut will leave behind only Mississisippi, Alabama and New Hampshire.
DeLauro dances her way to victory at the Shubert, cheers on fellow winners
Coming down the stairs dancing to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” DeLauro declared victory Tuesday night at the Shubert theater. Her celebration acted as the New Haven Democratic Party’s de facto election night party for the city.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 100 supporters and organizers, DeLauro thanked voters for the outpouring of support that she saw during this campaign.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen these many DeLauro campaign signs around the city before,” DeLauro said.
DeLauro acknowledged the hyper-partisanship preceding the midterms on the national level, pointing to the Jan. 6, 2021 siege on the U.S. Capitol and the assault of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband two weeks ago. DeLauro vowed to continue to fight for Democratic values including raising the minimum wage, protecting Social Security and Medicare and defending reproductive rights.
Sydney Perry, a longtime friend of DeLauro, told the News that she was honored to know DeLauro and was proud of all the work that she had done for the city.
“Rosa leads with her mom at her core,” Perry told the News. “Her mom was her inspiration and with her in mind Rosa has served this city with dedication for the last thirty years.”
Yalies were also in attendance at the party, with Quinn Moss ’24 telling the News that she came to support DeLauro and watch history unfold. Will Leggat ’25 added that he was there because he believed that DeLauro would fight for democracy, abortion rights, gay rights, union rights and a higher minimum wage.
DeLauro also lauded Russell for becoming the first New Havener elected to statewide office in 36 years.
Russell told the News that he was honored to serve in the statewide position and that he would be driven by New Haven’s values in the job.
“New Haven raised me and its values are my own,” Russell told the News. “I will work to protect municipal and state workers and their pensions in the city and to support labor across the state.”
While some Republicans concede, others are holding on until the morning
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski did not concede victory to incumbent Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday night, despite national media outlets calling the race for the Democrat. Instead, Stefanowski told the audience at his election night watch party at the Marriott Hotel in Trumbull that he would wait the race out until the morning.
“We’re doing better than any poll predicted,” Stefanowski told the thinning crowd inside the Marriott ballroom. “We’re going to wait and see tomorrow morning. We owe that to Connecticut.”
Throughout the campaign cycle, Stefanowski’s team had stressed that the most pressing issue Connecticut residents face is “affordability.”
“You hear about people filling up their oil tanks halfway,” Stefanowski said. You hear about people not being able to afford food and prescription drugs at the same time.”
He added that he ran his campaign differently this year. In his unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial campaign against Lamont, he was “a little tight.”
“I didn’t let people see I’m a normal guy,” Stefanowski said. “I grew up in New Haven. I went to the public schools. I worked hard, I built a family here. I built a career here. I just want to give back.”
Candidate for U.S. Senate Leora Levy conceded to incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal right before 11:00 p.m.
Levy said that she and Blumenthal had “different visions” for America.
“I will not stop fighting for you. I will not stop fighting for our state, our freedom, and our great country,” Levy said. “While this campaign has come to an end, we will continue to work for a more free, more prosperous and safer America, and most of all to preserve the American dream for future generations.”
Jamye Stevenson, the Republican candidate for Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives expressed in her speech a mistrust in the media and the democratic process of reporting elections — increasingly common talking points for Republican candidates.
“Don’t listen to the media when they call a race with only two percent tally in,” Stevenson said. “It’s not over until it’s over.”
Dominic Rapini, the Republican candidate for secretary of the state, projected confidence despite losing numbers. Rapini has ties to the organization Fight Voter Fraud, Inc, which filed unfounded claims of voter fraud to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.
“Right now we’re witnessing before our eyes how the sausage is made,” Rapini said. “I know the emotions are running the full range, but I’m very excited and very optimistic. Stay together shoulder to shoulder because of the big night ahead of us. Keep the faith.”
Turnout down from 2018
Fewer New Haveners turned out during these midterms than in 2018. Those who did favored Democrats 4 to 1.
Collected tallies revealed that New Haveners voted for Gov. Ned Lamont, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and fellow Democrats running for constitutional offices and probate court by more than a four-to-one margin, according to the New Haven Independent.
Overall, turnout for the gubernatorial race fell significantly below numbers seen in New Haven during the 2018 midterm elections.
While roughly 34,000 New Haven votes were cast in the 2018 governor’s race, the New Haven Independent reported that only 21,721 were cast in 2022.
According to numbers from the city’s voting machines, 83.46 percent of New Haveners voted for U.S. Rep. DeLauro, who was seeking her 17th two-year term. State treasurer candidate, Erick Russell, received 83.14 percent of the New Haven vote. And 85 percent of New Haveners voted “Yes” in support of a referendum that would allow early voting in Connecticut.
Throughout the city on Election Day, alders and state legislators were out in full force, welcoming voters to polling places across the city and encouraging them to vote. At Roberto Clemente School, Long Wharf Alder Carmen Rodriguez stood and greeted voters before they headed in to cast their ballots.
“It’s so important for people in this ward to show up and make their voices heard, our vote is our voice,” Rodriguez told the News. “Almost every resident that me or my team has called has told me that they’ve already voted or are planning to come right after they get off work.”
Taking advantage of Connecitcut’s same-day voter registration laws, Yalies and New Haveners lined up at City Hall to both register for and vote in today’s elections.
As of the close of polls at 8 p.m., 660 people had same-day registered to cast their ballots in New Haven. The line to register was more than 30 people long at approximately 6:40 p.m. and began spilling into the main lobby.
“It took me only 10 minutes to register and vote,” Carigan McGuinn ’25 told the News. “They just asked for my YaleID. I was drinking my Jitterbus dirty chai the entire time.”
Edna Kripps, the moderator at the Ward 2 polling place, said that throughout the day she had helped a lot of inactive voters restore their active status; “everyone wants to voice their opinion or make their vote count.”
New Haven voter Lydia Bornick, who cast her ballot at the Ward 2 polling place on Tuesday afternoon, said that the most important issue to her in the midterms was “everything. The concept of democracy, women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights. This is a very critical midterm, many people feel the weight of this midterm more than any other.”
Polls in Connecticut closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday.