Lineup set for race to replace Malloy in Connecticut
Greenwich cable television executive Ned Lamont and former UBS chief financial officer Bob Stefanowski won Connecticut’s respective Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries on Tuesday.
They will face each other in an open-seat general election on Nov. 6. Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, is not seeking election to a third term.
Lamont, who lost his party's nomination to Malloy eight years ago, easily defeated Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. Lamont had 81% of the vote with 97% of precincts reporting statewide, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State's office.
Stefanowski, a political newcomer from Madison, defeated party-nominated Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton by 29% to 21%, followed by David Stemerman, Tim Herbst and Steve Obsitnik.
The state's last Republican governor was Jodi Rell, who did not seek re-election in 2010.
Connecticut's stagnant economy has been a major talking point throughout the campaign, along with the unpopularity of Malloy and President Donald Trump. All four bond rating agencies downgraded Connecticut in 2017 over budget imbalance, revenue shortfalls and high legacy costs.
Lamont distanced himself from Malloy during the campaign and campaigned on a fiercely anti-Trump theme. "We’re going to draw a line in the sand," he told supporters in New Haven. "We are going to be the firewall."
He favors electronic highway tolling for trucks only, similar to a mechanism Rhode Island enacted, and which faces a court battle.
Stefanowski, meanwhile, said he would work to eliminate the state income tax — long a political football — while in office. Connecticut was the most recent state to adopt such a tax, in 1991.
"I think every Republican that walked by said they're supporting me," Stefanowski said earlier Tuesday. "We built a lot of momentum."
Shawn Wooden and Thad Gray won the Democratic and Republican primaries for state treasurer, a position Democratic incumbent Denise Nappier is vacating after 20 years. The treasurer oversees debt management, investments and the pension fund.
Wooden, an Investment attorney and former Hartford City Council president, defeated former Wall Street financial manager Dita Bhargava. Gray, a former chief investment officer for Abbott Capital Management, bested Art Linares, a three-term state senator from Westbrook.
In the race for lieutenant governor, a seat Democrat Nancy Wyman is vacating, business lawyer Susan Bysiewicz defeated former one-term Newtown councilwoman Eva Bermudez Zimmerman in the Democratic primary. On the Republican side, state Sen. Joe Markley of Southington easily defeated New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.
Jahana Hayes, a political novice and a former national Teacher of the Year who overcame homelessness and a teen pregnancy, won the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional District and could become the state’s first black female congressional representative. She will run against GOP winner and former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos in November.
Moody's Analytics economist Emily Mandel called the state's economy "a clear laggard among its New England peers."
“The state’s recovery has been among the slowest in the country,” said Mandel. “Job growth over the past year ranks among the slowest not only in New England, but also in the entire Northeast.”