Stefanowski Concedes In Governor’s Race; New Haven Puts Lamont Over The Top

Thomas Breen PhotoNed Lamont will be the next governor of Connecticut, thanks to New Haven.

Voters here gave Lamont a 20,461-vote victory margin—which will continue to grow as more votes are counted — over Republican Bob Stefanowski, the largest single vote total in the state. [Update: Final victory margin in the city was 23,278 votes.]

Stefanowski conceded to the Greenwich Democrat on Wednesday morning, even as New Haven continued counting its ballots after a disastrous election day muddled by broken voting machines.

New Haven produced the largest statewide total of votes for Lamont. By the New Haven Independent’s tally, New Haven gave 24,688 votes to the Democratic candidate, and only 4,227 to Stefanowski, leaving Lamont with a New Haven margin of 20,461 votes. One ward, in Dwight, had yet to report its final voting numbers because of problems with voting machines rendered inoperable by wet ballots.

And 1,700 absentee ballots and same day registration ballots await to be counted as well. Lamont’s margin is expected to grow further.

That makes New Haven Democratic Town Chair Vin Mauro Connecticut’s political kingmaker.

He chose different words Wednesday morning to describe how the party again pulled thousands more votes for the ticket than Bridgeport or Hartford, the closest competitors.

“I’m just a fat guy from the Elm City with the best team in the state,” Mauro said. “Maybe the country.”

Election-watchers went to bed well after midnight with yet another Connecticut governor race too close to call (as in 2010). New Haven’s vote, as the results came through ward by ward, put Lamont over the top.

It took a while to find that out. Voting machines broke all over town during and after the election. Vote tallying coutinued throughout the evening and into Wednesday morning. And a staffing shortage created chaos in the processing of same-day registration ballots.

Officials estimate it could take until the rest of the day for a final official vote tally for New Haven, and until the end of the week for release of an official ward-by-ward tally sheet.

Democratic Registrar of Voters Shannel Evans, who scurried around town throughout the night and early morning attending to broken machines and late counts, reflected on the experience in her office during a brief break Wednesday morning. She hadn’t slept since before dawn on Tuesday.

“It was very frustrating with all the machines breaking,” she said. “At the end of the day, voters were able to vote.”

Gracious Tone In Defeat

Stefanowski issued the following concession statement Wednesday morning:

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

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.

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posted by: Noteworthy on November 7, 2018  9:48am

Ballot Box Stuffing and incompetent Notes:

1. This disaster is emblematic of New Haven. Always half ass.

2. The rampant registration abuse and manipulation is disgraceful.

3. People who are too lazy, stupid and unmotivated herded like heffers and then mass “certifications” questionably legal. Wow.

4. Win at any cost.

5. Now that results are in, taxpayers better get ready to fork over more of their family budgets. These Democrats think they have a revenue problem. Steak, vacations, and the living large just got bigger. From the chronic, never enough dependency city.

posted by: Esbey on November 7, 2018  10:02am

We really have to fix voting in New Haven, it is a national joke at this point.

posted by: heightster77 on November 7, 2018  10:30am

Start with fixing the problem by getting rid of Shannel Evans.

posted by: cellardoor on November 7, 2018  11:46am

I’m proud that New Haven saved Connecticut from the humiliation of a Trumpist/Brownback avatar in the state house. Now we need to focus on finding a strong and competent mayor, and on developing a BOA that is able and willing to make hard choices for the cIty’s future.  Every citizen of this town should dive into the work of the FRAC committee and hold our representatives accountable.

posted by: publikskooled on November 7, 2018  12:11pm

two things post election now that need to be done:
1- find a way to have Evans removed, and fix the issue that made it so hard to get rid of her
2- pressure our 30 year in office 75 year old congress woman to NOT follow the DNC and endorse Pelosi.  we need to find a new, energetic,  more exciting leader for the party that has refused to inspire emotion or faith the last several years.

posted by: Claudia Bosch on November 7, 2018  12:32pm

I agree with some of the previous commenters:
1. Solve a problem and get a new registrar of voters.
2. Applause the “get out the vote” efforts. Well done Mauro and countless volunteers.
3. Tell Rosa - we want change.

posted by: 1644 on November 7, 2018  1:08pm

For all those complaining about Evans, did you vote for the republican candidate, instead of her?  Or did you re-elect this incompetent by a landslide.  BTWS, I voted in Branford.  My district had 63% of registered voters vote, there was no line, although all booths were busy.  No machines jammed, and no one doing EDR at Town Hall was turned away or needed to take questionable shortcuts to register.

[Ed. Thanks for the comment. Just a note: VOters elect both a Democratic and a republican registrar of voters. I think a primary election would be the time at which voters would get a choice. In my humble opinion, the law is such an outrageous Democratic-Republican conspiracy against the voters that if they choose a third party candidate over a major-party candidate to be a registrar, as has happened in Hartford, taxpayers still have to pay for the losing major-party candidate to remain in office, and have three registrars instead of two.]

posted by: Bill Saunders on November 7, 2018  2:18pm

Editor,

The elected possibility of ‘third registrar’ is a great loophole in the system that allows a ‘third-party’ to gain legitimacy by actually winning an election and putting forth an active, independent political franchise.

With the Republican Registrar in New Haven getting less than 2k votes, it is certainly a plausible path.

And it pays better than being an Alder!

Unfortunately, this State Level position gets its day at the polls during the Presidential Election Cycle, which is strange. That seems like a distraction, especially given that our State Level elections are happening this year.

posted by: Esbey on November 7, 2018  2:38pm

The editor’s editorial there is pretty interesting, thanks. In the primary, we need to kick out every registrar of voters who presides over a mess like this one. The Ds can vote out the Ds and both Rs can talk together and vote out the R registrar. 

CT needs a whole package of election reforms.  Nice Northeastern Liberals rail against voter suppression in red states, and yet we don’t have early voting, vote by mail, etc, and we can’t even get folks through the lines at a decent pace.

posted by: Sean O'Brien on November 7, 2018  7:04pm

Not long ago, Ned was asking to visit the Cove (and visit my home) to listen to our concerns about Tweed.  I spoke to him at length, and he was incredibly conciliatory.  He has talked about learning from past mistakes (publicly and privately), and I hope his tune has not changed.  We’ll hold him to it.

posted by: Dennis Serf on November 7, 2018  10:53pm

Kingmaker Mauro: “I’m just a fat guy from the Elm City with the best team in the state. Maybe the country.”

Machine politics at its best, ....or worst

Dennis Serfilippi
https://newhavenct.squarespace.com/

posted by: Michael X on November 8, 2018  12:24am

Connecticut GDP dropped by 7% during a period where the US GDP increased by 20%. And we just elected a Governor and General Assembly to continue the same failed policies.  Our business environment will continue to decline as business continue to leave.  Those who care will leave, leaving behind those who do not.

posted by: JCFremont on November 8, 2018  12:20pm

.Sean, his answer should have been “yeah buying a home near an airport for peace and quiet was a mistake.” But he was in campaign mode so he manage to say nothing.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on November 8, 2018  8:34pm

Publikskooled: “…our 30 year in office 75 year old congress woman… we need to find a new, energetic,  more exciting…” Claudia Bosch: “Tell Rosa - we want change.” New Haven Voters: “Let’s continue the same policies causing CT’s economic decline—and add highway tolls”.

posted by: skier219 on November 8, 2018  8:42pm

I’m a New Haven Republican and even I have to admit this Mauro guy does a fantastic job.
Although parties may not always agree, you have to give props to a guy like this Mauro he’s legit and gets the job done.  As far as his comment about himself…has anyone noticed he is about half the size he used to be? Maybe our party can find the other half of him and get him working for us, we need a guy like him.

Mauro, I encourage you to become a Republican someday.  It’s never too late to switch over, we all know Hillary was once a Republican!