The wet weather didn’t seem to dampen turnout that much for one of Connecticut’s most talked about Congressional races on Election Day — the race for the 5th Congressional District between Democrat Jahana Hayes and Republican Manny Santos.
Either candidate will make history with a win. Hayes would become the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress from Connecticut. Santos would become the first Portuguese-born member of Congress.
“Everything you do is to make it better for the next generation,” Hayes said. “It’s so much bigger than me.”
“It’s important for a number of reasons,” Santos said.
Santos, the former mayor of Meriden, says his first priority in office would be to find ways to lower taxes in Connecticut. Hayes, a former Teacher of the Year, says one of her first moves would be finding ways to keep guns out of schools.
They both say they pride themselves for running clean campaigns.
All day long, Santos supporters continued their voter reach-out effort.
“We’re making phone calls and we’re spread out across the district,” Santos said.
Hayes was still campaigning outside John F. Kennedy High School with Senator Chris Murphy in the rain Tuesday afternoon.
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“I’m out here ’till the very last minute, ’till the very last poll closes, because it’s important and I’m not taking anything for granted,” Hayes said.
How confident do they feel on this — the final day of the race?
“I’m feeling very encouraged from the stops we’ve already made,” Santos said.
“Excited, anxious, nervous, enthusiastic,” Hayes said. “I’m all of them.”
Voters were definitely excited to get to the polls. Officials at Israel Putnam Elementary School, where News 8 found Santos, reported very high turnout in the morning. Officials at Kennedy High School in Waterbury, where News 8 found Hayes, said that at 1:00 p.m., turnout there was way above what they usually see in a midterm election.
The question is — who will make history in Connecticut after the voters have spoken?