Lamont claims governor's race victory after Stefanowski concession

Gov. Ned Lamont will be marching in Monday's Memorial Day parade in Ridgefield.
Gov. Ned Lamont will be marching in Monday's Memorial Day parade in Ridgefield.

Connecticut awoke Wednesday still not knowing who its next governor will be, or when that answer might be finalized.

The answer came around 9 a.m., when Republican Bob Stefanowski conceded.

“A few moments ago, I called Ned Lamont to concede the race for governor and congratulate him on a hard-fought victory,” Stefanowski said in a statement. “I wish both Ned and the state of Connecticut success over these next four years.”

Democrat Lamont had 46.57% of the vote while Stefanowski had 45.86% of the vote according to results posted by the Secretary of the State’s office Wednesday morning, with 91.13% of precincts reporting. Unaffiliated candidate Oz Griebel took 3.99% of the vote.

In addition to ballots remaining to be counted, there are questions about what ballots should count.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said thousands of ballots may have to be counted by hand because they got wet during heavy rains throughout Tuesday.

Meanwhile. Stefanowski is questioning whether some late votes should be counted at all. Via his Twitter account, Stefanowski said he has sought an injunction seeking to nullify ballots cast by voters who were registered after 8 p.m. under Connecticut’s same-day voter registration law. He asked Tuesday that such ballots be set aside pending a ruling.

Again, per guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is illegal to register voters AFTER 8pm, even if they are in line,” Stefanowski tweeted. He tweeted that a judge will hold a hearing Friday if necessary.

Those in lines in New Haven and Mansfield, near the University of  Connecticut, were sworn-in en masse as the 8 p.m. closing of polls loomed, Stefanowski tweeted.

“Every registered voter currently in line at 8pm is allowed to vote. They can vote! But they can't be mass sworn in at 7:45pm and they can't be sworn in after 8pm. The law is clear. If you are registered and in line – vote! If you are not registered before 8pm – you can't vote,” he tweeted.

While this is not the result we would have hoped for, I am glad that we were able to draw so much attention to the tax burden in this state. Think about it – at the beginning of this race, we were laser-focused on cutting taxes, while other candidates were talking about raising taxes. We were able to mold the discussion in such a way that the other candidates slowly began to come around to the same conclusion to varying degrees.

I am hopeful that by relentlessly focusing on that issue we’ve started the conversation on how we can start to bring the tax burden on Connecticut families down.

Words cannot express how humbled and honored I am at the tremendous support we received from people all across Connecticut during this campaign.

This road hasn’t been easy on any of us, but I want to thank my incredible wife Amy and my 3 beautiful girls for taking this journey with me – for having my back throughout this campaign - for putting up with the late nights and the nasty ads - and for encouraging me when I questioned whether we were doing the right thing.

I also want to thank to thank our army of tireless supporters who donated, put in countless hours on the phones, knocked doors, and helped to get out the vote.

I will be forever grateful for the love and support this state has shown me, my family and this campaign over the last year.

I have learned a lot over the course of this campaign, but the biggest takeaway for me has been the realization that CT is one big family. That won’t end with the campaign. We will continue to share that bond regardless of today’s outcome.