Christine Stuart photo
Before introducing the victorious Gov. M. Jodi Rell, newly elected Lieutenant Gov. Michael Fedele admitted to the crowd of supporters at the Hartford Marriott, “six-months ago this was no where on my radar. Boy is it on the radar tonight.” Democrats including Rell’s challenger, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, have criticized Rell for her lack of campaigning. At his last stop before heading down to New Haven to watch the results roll in, DeStefano seemed upbeat as he posed for pictures with supporters at an East Hartford elementary school. “I’m positively optimistic,” DeStefano said.
DeStefano around 7:30 p.m. at Goodwin School in East HartfordBut that optimism would soon be crushed when the votes were counted and were overwhelmingly in Rell’s favor. They were so much in her favor Rell didn’t even mention her opponent in her victory speech, even though her supporters waited more than two and half hours to hear Rell give her victory speech. According to campaign spokesman Rich Harris at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. the governor was still waiting for the phone call from DeStefano, but no one could say why it took until 10:28 p.m. for Rell to take the stage. Fedele said Rell campaign used good common sense and took the high road in the campaign against DeStefano. He said the campaign was successful because Rell lead with “integrity every step of the way.” Rell, whose voice was hoarse from the last few days of campaigning, said she looks forward to her first vacation knowing the state will be in good hands with Fedele in charge. She said the challenges over the next four years are not going to small. “We have a lot of work to do,” she added. “That’s it?” many who had waited all night to hear her speech said either under their breath or to themselves.