U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes on Election Night. Credit: Johnathon Henninger photo

U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes declared victory late Wednesday in her nationally watched race against Republican George Logan after the Secretary of the State’s office reported election results from the town of Salisbury, Connecticut, giving her a wide enough margin of victory to avoid an automatic recount.

In a statement, Theodore Bromley, director of elections for Secretary of the State Mark Kohler, said the results from Salisbury, which had been delayed by technical difficulties, put Hayes’ tight lead over Logan at 1,842.

“This total exceeds any statutory margin of victory that would necessitate a recount. As such, with the inclusion of Salisbury’s vote totals, there is no statutory requirement for a recount in the 5th Congressional District,” Bromley said.

Twenty-five minutes later, the two-term Democrat declared victory in the race, which has been watched closely both in Connecticut and around the country as the balance of power in the House remained technically uncertain.

“This was a hard-fought race that was unfortunately fueled by millions of dollars in outside spending,” Hayes said in a press release. “But ultimately, the people of this district are the ones to decide who their representative will be – not national Super PACs. The 5th District is my home, and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to continue serving you in the House of Representatives.”

At a press conference Wednesday, Hayes said she was “relieved” to get this news after a day of watching the numbers. 

“Elections are about math. I won,” Hayes said.

She said national Republicans made it a very expensive race with about $12 million spent. 

“A win is a win,” she said. “I’ll take it.”

Hayes also said she would continue to represent the reddest parts of her district even though many of those residents did not vote for her. 

Logan’s campaign did not immediately issue a statement and during the press conference, Hayes said her opponent had not reached out to concede the race.

The 5th District race had remained too close to call for most of Wednesday. The unofficial results available on the Secretary of the State’s website fluctuated throughout, frustrating some observers who noted the site indicated that all precincts had reported despite the absence of Salisbury’s results.

Bromley said the town’s delay was caused by technical problems with the head moderator’s return, which were caused by redistricting changes to the Election Management System rather than errors by local officials. 

“As with any election, our office prepares contingencies for these situations and our office collected a paper copy of the Head Moderator’s Return attached hereto,” Bromley said.

The nail-biting win for Hayes comes as the U.S. House looked increasingly likely to fall under Republican control, though not by the wide margins forecasted ahead of the election.