HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut's governor race will be a battle of the businessmen after Republican voters chose Bob Stefanowski as the party nominee in the November governor election. He will face off against Democratic nominee Ned Lamont who also has roots as a businessman.
The Republican battle was hard fought will a close margin of victory for Stefanowski, of Madison, who defeated GOP Party-endorsed candidate Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton along with three others. Stefanowski had a strong showing with 29 percent of the Republican vote out of five candidates, according to the unofficial Secretary of the State results. The Democratic race was an absolute blowout with Lamont capturing more than 81 percent of voters compared to Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim's 19 percent (Check below for a full breakdown of all the major races)
The fall campaign will feature these themes. Lamont will likely seize on the fact that Stefanowski hasn't voted in more than a decade and that he is supportive of President Donald Trump's policies. Meanwhile, Stefanowski is sure to capitalize on current Gov. Dan Malloy's unpopularity and the state's financial woes.
"Our great state simply cannot afford the continuation of Dan Malloy's horrible economic policy," Stefanowski said in his victory speech. (Get free Patch email alerts and newsletters for more than 100 Connecticut communities here)
Lamont didn't shy away from criticism of Trump or those who support him.
"Elections matter, we found that out the hard way 18 months ago and his name is Donald Trump," Lamont said.
Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District Democratic nomination went to former Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes. Hayes victory was trending nationally on social media Tuesday night.
Former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos won the Republican nomination. The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep Elizabeth Esty who was widely expected to coast to victory, but her political future was derailed after details of her handling of a sexual harassment complaint became public. She announced earlier this year she wouldn't seek re-election.
Susan Bysiewicz won the Democratic lieutenant governor race against Eva Bermudez Zimmerman. Joe Markley won the Republican lieutenant governor nomination against New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.
Both Lamont and Stefanowski are running on a platform of being businessmen with the knowledge to turn around Connecticut's fiscal woes. Stefanowski has said he has been brought into companies to clean up bad situations as an executive. Lamont started his own telecom company that delivered cable service to more than 200 colleges and universities.
Stefanowski is a relative newcomer to politics while Lamont has one term of experience as a Greenwich selectman. Stefanowski took an unconventional path to victory by skipping the state Republican convention and instead focusing his efforts on the primary. The move paid off; he bested Republican nominee Boughton by more than 10,000 votes.
Lamont famously bested Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the 2006 race after capitalizing on the unpopularity of the Iraq War among Democrats. Lieberman came back as an independent and beat Lamont in the general election. It's no secret that Connecticut has routinely been faced with multi-billion dollar deficits and no one has forgotten the exodus of GE to Boston.
Lamont Takes Aim At The GOP
Lamont didn't shy away from criticizing the Republican candidates for governor. Lamont claimed victory early in the night and said that all five Republican candidates including Stefanowski aren't "George and Barbara Bush Republicans," but are Trump Republicans.
He promised to draw a line in the sand against some of Trump's policies.
"This is a state that celebrates its diversity and opportunity for all," Lamont said.
He promised businesses, labor and others a seat at the table to get Connecticut back on the right track. He billed himself as someone who could be the first governor with business experience in awhile who knows how to create jobs. He promised to invest in community colleges and vocational education to help fill tens of thousands of vacant job openings that occur because of lack of qualified candidates.
"Tomorrow it starts again," he said. "We are on our way to November we are going to win and we are going to turn this state around."
Stefanowski Vows To Cut Taxes
Stefanowski took a hard line against Connecticut's fiscal woes. He said eight years of Malloy and special interests have damaged Connecticut.
Again he promised to eventually phase out the state's income tax, which currently accounts for about half of the state's general fund. He said Tuesday night marked the beginning of a revolution against the Hartford status quo.
Stefanowski also congratulated Markley as his new running mate and said his knowledge of government and ability to work with the state legislature would be invaluable.
Matthew Corey won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. He will face off against incumbent U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.
The state treasurer race will be between Democrat Shawn Wooden and Republican Thad Gray.
For attorney general Democrat William Tong will square off against Republican Sue Hatfield.
In the Secretary of the State race incumbent Democrat Denise Merrill will face Republican nominee Susan Chapman.
Full Election Breakdown
Below are unofficial election results from the Secretary of the State office with around 97 percent of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning. Turnout was 30.09 percent for Democrats and 32.69% for Republicans.
Ned Lamont 165,375 votes 81.12%
Joe Ganim 38,496 18.88%
Susan Bysiewicz 124,718 62.03%
Eva Bermudez Zimmerman 76,335 37.97%
5th Congressional District
Jahana Hayes 22,187 62.23%
Mary Messina Glassman 133,465 37.77%
Shawn Wooden 111,135 56.67%
Dita Bhargava 84,963 43.33%
William Tong 114,441 57.34%
Chris Mattei 51,522 25.82%
Paul Doyle 33,617 16.84%
Bob Stefanowski 40,597 29.31%
Mark Boughton 29.358 21.2%
David Stemerman 25,439 18.37%
Tim Herbst 24,388 17.61%
Steve Obsitnik 18,710 13.51%
Joe Markley 63,590 47.41%
Erin Stewart 44,000 32.8%
Jayme Stevenson 26,546 19.79%
5th Congressional District
Manny Santos 14,958 51.45%
Ruby Corby-O'Neill 7,785 26.78%
Richard DuPont 6,330 21.77%
Matthew Corey 97,023 78.69%
Dominic Rapini 29,498 23.31%
Thad Gray 71,624 55.88%
Art Linares 56,549 44.12%
Kurt Miller 66,881 52.56%
Mark Greenberg 60,365 47.44%
Sue Hatfield 102,864 79.33%
John Shaban 26,800 20.67%
Ned Lamont Profile
Ned Lamont served as a one-term Greenwich selectman before his 2006 bid for U.S. Senate where he beat incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary.
Lieberman came back to challenge Lamont as an independent candidate and ultimately kept his seat.
Lamont first tried to run for governor in 2010, but lost to now-Gov. Dannel Malloy in the Democratic primary.
His business background is in the telecom industry where he started his own company Lamont Digital Systems. The company's Campus Televideo provides cable television solutions to more than 220 colleges across the country. The division was sold in 2015.
Lamont supports paid family and medical leave, a $15 minimum wage and strong labor rights. He also wants a Medicaid buy-in option that would allow younger participants to join.
He wants to make the first two years of public college or university free for residents who commit to living and working in Connecticut after they graduate.
Lamont would push for legalized recreational marijuana. Taxes from sale and regulation could be used to fund opioid treatments.
Lamont would push to make Connecticut's Education Cost Sharing formula more transparent and based on a community's need.
Lamont has come out in favor of electronic tolling of heavy trucks.
He also believes that air service should be expanded at Bradley, Tweed and Sikorsky airports.
Upgrades to the New Haven Metro North line could bring a trip from New Haven to New York down to one hour and 15 minutes. He also wants to invest in high speed rail that would bring the commute to an hour.
To tackle the opioid addiction crisis Lamont wants to increase the number of practitioners who can prescribe buprenorphine for addiction treatment and increase funding for proven addiction treatment. Lamont also wants insurers to cover the entire cost of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.
He also wants to cap out of pocket drug prices at $275 per month for consumers.
Bob Stefanowski Profile
Stefanowski was most recently the CEO of DFC Global Corp. in London and Philadelphia. Prior to that he worked at several other businesses including a division chief executive officer position at General Electric from 1994 to 2007.
Stefanowski has been attacked by fellow candidate David Stemerman for his time at DFC Global, which offered payday loans, according to the Hartford Courant. Stefanowski said he was hired to clean up the company and fired 20 of the top 30 executives. He also hasn't voted for more than a decade, something he attributes to being overseas most of the time.
Stefanowski was briefly a Democrat for eight months and switched last July to the Republican party, according to the Courant. He asserted that other prominent Republicans including President Donald Trump were at one time Democrats.
Stefanowski plans to phase out the corporate income tax and business entity tax over two years and the state income tax over eight years. He would also work to eliminate the gift and estate taxes.
He argues the gift and estate taxes drive people to other tax-free states and Connecticut is the only state that has both taxes. About $6 billion of adjusted gross income has left Connecticut for Florida.
They only raise about one percent of the state's revenues, but are a drag on the state's economy.
Stefanowski said he wants to contract out certain government services including the DMV and implement zero-based budgeting that would start Connecticut's budget off with a blank piece of paper and add in only necessary services.
Stefanowski also wants to impose a 10-year term limit for state legislators and an 8-year term for governor along with the ability for voters to recall elected state officials. He also wants to give voters referendum powers.
For recent articles about CT's 2018 primary results and the November elections, please click here.
Report: State's Transportation Infrastructure 'Moving Backward', The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), August 8, 2018
Would-be lieutenant governor Joe Markley challenges Malloy’s toll study, by Bill Cummings, The CT Post, August 7, 2018
Connecticut Wage Growth Fifth Slowest in U.S., The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), August 2, 2018
Pension Commission Explores Selling State Assets, The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA), August 2, 2018
State Employees Receive $2,000 Bonuses
by Christopher Keating, The Hartford Courant, July 20, 2018
Malloy Uses Executive Authority On $10M Toll Study, by Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, July 18, 2018
OP-ED: Inept to the Bitter End, by Susan Bigelow, CT News Junkie, June 29, 2018
SCOTUS ruling on unions echoes loudly in Connecticut, by Mark Pazniokas & Keith M. Phaneuf, The CT Mirror, June 27, 2018
Malloy’s fifth veto: The new DCF oversight bill, by Keith M. Phaneuf, The CT Mirror,
June 13, 2018
Viewpoint: The need to act regionally has never been more important, by John Filchak (Executive Director, Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments), The CT Mirror [Online], June 13, 2018.
CT Primary 2018: Full Election Results Democrats and Republicans picked their gubernatorial nominees Tuesday for the fall election.
By Rich Scinto, The Patch Staff , August 15, 2018
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