Gov. Dannel Malloy has won re-election in a bitter race against Republican challenger Tom Foley, who conceded defeat on Wednesday in a reprise of his narrow loss to the Connecticut governor four years ago.
"All right, we've got work to do," Malloy said Wednesday during a post-election news conference at the State Capitol in Hartford. "Elections are about the future. ... I am revved up for the next four years."
Malloy said his priorities include building a stronger economy, creating jobs and following through will his educational initiatives. The governor pledged to have a full legislative agenda ready to go by Jan. 7, the day his second term will officially begin.
Foley's concession came hours after Malloy claimed victory in a speech to supporters around midnight Wednesday. Minutes later, Foley took the stage in Greenwich to give what he said might have been a concession speech had Malloy given him the opportunity to concede.
“I regret that I will not be able to deliver the change that we have dreamed about and feel would be in the best interest of our great state," Foley said early Wednesday morning.
He stood alongside Somers and waved to the crowd, who chanted his name.
"We have forecasted the towns and the parts of the cities that haven't yet reported, and it looks to me that if our projections are right, we've probably not won this race, but we're not going to make that final decision until we've confirmed all the numbers," Foley said.
Malloy said Foley called him Wednesday to officially concede after poring over the numbers. Foley also thanked his supporters in a letter posted to his Web site Wednesday afternoon.
"Thank you for your support with my campaign for governor. We came very close. Our appeal for change in Connecticut – pro-growth policies including lower taxes, more responsible spending, and more support for job creators – was endorsed by more than 48% of Connecticut voters. Governor Malloy won this election with fewer votes than we won in 2010," Foley wrote.
The two candidates traded the lead throughout Election Day. As of Wednesday afternoon, the numbers showed Malloy pulling a three-point lead.
In a news conference Wednesday, the governor said he never expected to sweep 100 percent of the vote.
"We're all Connecticut," Malloy said. "It's time to put our differences aside."
It's the second time Malloy and Foley have gone head to head. When the two last did battle in 2010 race, voting problems in Bridgeport prompted extended polling hours and days of recounts before Foley conceded to Malloy.
Unaffiliated candidate Joe Visconti suspended his campaign and endorsed Foley during a surprise announcement on Sunday, although his name remained on the ballot. Visconti has garnered about 1 percent of the vote as of Wednesday morning.