The race for Connecticut governor has been narrowed down to two business executives who never held elected office before.
Last night’s final tally in the state’s primary election found Ned Lamont, the founder and chairman of Lamont Digital Systems, as the Democratic nominee for governor. Lamont, the party’s endorsed choice for the race, defeated Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim in a landslide – the Associated Press called the race for Lamont a half-hour after the polls closed, and the final tally gave him 81 percent of the vote. Lamont previously sought the nomination in 2010 but lost to Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy. Lamont’s choice for lieutenant governor, former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, defeated a challenge from Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, a former Newtown legislative council member and union negotiator for SEIU.
On the Republican side, former UBS Chief Financial Officer Bob Stefanowski defeated four opponents including Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, the party’s endorsed candidate, to secure the nomination. Stefanowski, who bypassed the state Republican Party’s convention to petition his way onto the ballot, scored 29 percent of the vote compared to Boughton’s 21 percent. State Sen. Joe Markley of Southington, the Republican endorsed by the convention for lieutenant governor, defeated challenges from New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.
In the other state races, the party-endorsed candidates were successful in their respective races. State Rep. William Tong of Stamford won the Democratic race for attorney general and will face Republican Susan Hatfield, an attorney and nurse in Pomfret. Shawn Wooden, a former president of the Hartford City Council, won the Democratic race for treasurer and will face Republican Thad Gray, a Salisbury-based investment executive. Republican Kurt Miller, the first selectman of Seymour, won the race for state comptroller and will face Democratic incumbent Kevin Lembo.
The only state race without a primary was for Secretary of the State, with Democratic incumbent Denise Merrill facing the Republicans’ endorsed candidate Susan Chapman, a former New Fairfield first selectman who was unchallenged for the position.
In the races for federal office, Matthew M. Corey, the owner of a window-washing service and McKinnon’s Irish Pub in Hartford, won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate over Dominic Rapini, a Branford resident who is Apple’s national account manager for retail business. Corey will face incumbent U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who had no primary challenge.
In the race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty in the 5th congressional district, Jahana Hayes, a former Waterbury high school history teacher who received national attention when she was recognized in 2016 by President Barack Obama as Teacher of the Year, defeated the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman.
Hayes, in her first run for elected office, will face former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos, who won the Republican nomination by defeating Ruby O’Neill, the Southbury-based founder of the National Latino Republican Coalition, and Rich Dupont, a Watertown-based business consultant.
There were no primary races for the 4th congressional district, where Democratic incumbent Jim Himes faces Republican business executive Harry Arora.
Voter turnout was estimated at being between 20 percent and 25 percent, and there were no reports of voting irregularities across the state’s polling stations.