Republican Bob Stefanowski conceded the Connecticut governor’s race to incumbent Democrat Ned Lamont in a Wednesday morning press release issued about seven hours after he told supporters the race was too close to call.
“The results of this election are not what we had hoped for,” Stefanowski said Wednesday. “But while the outcome was not in our control, the actions we take moving forward from here are. This campaign was an example of what can be done when you stand up for what you believe in. We may not have won, but we changed the course of Connecticut by advocating for the people.”
Despite media outlets like Fox News calling the race for Lamont late Tuesday, Stefanowski did not concede from the Republican election results headquarters in the Trumbull Marriott’s ballroom. Instead, he sent his supporters home, telling them that he expected to win the race overnight as outstanding returns continued to trickle in across the state.
“There’s still a hundred towns outstanding. We’re going to wait and see this thing to the finish,” Stefanowski said. “We’re going to win this race overnight.”
Lamont declared victory in Hartford moments later.
“I’ve seen the numbers coming in from the press. I know where we stand,” Lamont said.
He added: “Let the dust settle tomorrow. All the final numbers are going to come in.”
By morning, unofficial results posted to the secretary of the state’s site showed Lamont defeating Stefanowski by around 12 points, a far wider margin than the Democrat’s 3-point victory when the two candidates first faced each other in 2018.
The unofficial results found Lamont with around 56% of the vote with 97% of towns reporting. Stefanowski trailed at around 43%. Meanwhile, Independent Party candidate Rob Hotaling captured around 1% of the vote.
Hotaling issued a statement Wednesday thanking his supporters and congratulating Lamont.
“I congratulate Governor Lamont on his victory and I hope Connecticut experiences growth and prosperity under his leadership,” Hotaling said.
If Stefanowski offered congratulations to his two-time rival, it was not included in his press release. Instead he called on the governor to represent supporters and political opponents alike.
“I implore Governor Lamont to support the people who voted for him as much as the ones who did not. Politics has become too divisive and the great people of Connecticut deserve better,” Stefanowski said.
Lamont and state Democrats had scheduled a news conference for late Wednesday morning to discuss the results.