HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Democrat Ned Lamont has won reelection as Connecticut governor, defeating Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski for the second time in four years following a campaign battle that focused on abortion access, crime and the cost of living.
“Connecticut gets it right. We had a good election, a fair election. Now we all come together, we work together as one. Because that’s what Connecticut always does,” Lamont told supporters in a victory speech in Hartford.
Stefanowski conceded the race shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday, releasing a statement that acknowledged “the results of this election are not what we had hoped for.” He urged Lamont to support people who voted for him as well as those who didn’t.
“Politics has become too divisive and the great people of Connecticut deserve better,” he said in the statement.
The last Republican governor in Connecticut was M. Jodi Rell, a moderate who served until January 2011.
Former President Donald Trump backed Stefanowski in his 2018 run, but he did not weigh in on this year’s race. Also, Stefanowski didn’t seek a rating from the National Rifle Association. In 2018, he received an A rating. Lamont has received an F for 2022.
Lamont, a former cable TV entrepreneur, spent more than $20 million of his own money, exceeding the $15 million he spent in 2018. The national parties and various political action committees also dumped large sums into negative ads.
A mergers and acquisitions expert, Stefanowski loaned his campaign $12 million, more than triple his investment in the 2018 race.
Lamont was running for reelection with Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, while Stefanowski tapped state Rep. Laura Devlin as a running mate.
Hotaling, a Cheshire banker, and Stewart “Chip” Beckett were running on the Independent Party line. Hotaling issued a statement early Wednesday congratulating Lamont, saying he hopes “Connecticut experiences growth and prosperity under his leadership.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.