Connecticut Awaits Bridgeport Tally to Determine Next Governor

Connecticut’s next governor remains undetermined as the state’s election chief awaits the Nov. 2 vote count from Bridgeport, the state’s most-populous city.

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz said late yesterday that she wouldn’t say more on the race between Democrat Dan Malloy and Republican Tom Foley, 58, until the city’s tally is known. On Nov. 3, Bysiewicz declared Malloy, 55, the winner, based on unofficial results. Excluding heavily Democratic Bridgeport, Foley led by almost 8,400 votes out of 1.12 million counted.

Each candidate said yesterday that he had won, citing campaign estimates. Certifying the ballots will take about a week, said Av Harris, a spokesman for Bysiewicz, a Democrat.

Earlier yesterday, Foley asked Bysiewicz to delay further announcements about the vote “until the results are certain,” according to a statement from Justin Clark, his campaign manager. He cited varying counts and changes in some districts.

“In the last 24 hours alone, Bridgeport has revised downward the number of votes cast for Dan Malloy by over 3,500,” Clark said. Bridgeport polls remained open an extra two hours on Nov. 2 because ballots ran short and more had to be provided. The Secretary of State’s website shows the city had about 71,500 registered voters in 2009, 63 percent as Democrats.

The Malloy campaign figures his lead is more than 10,000, said Roy Occhiogrosso, an aide.

Malloy Confident

“We are 100 percent confident that the final vote will be far outside what will be necessary to trigger a recount,” Occhiogrosso said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Under Connecticut rules, if the winning margin is less than 2,000, a recount is required, Harris said. The winner will succeed Jodi Rell, 63, a Republican who didn’t seek re-election.

Malloy, who was Stamford’s mayor for 14 years, pledged during his campaign to overhaul the state’s tax code and develop a strategy to create jobs. He ran on a ticket with Nancy Wyman, the state comptroller, who would serve as lieutenant governor.

A political newcomer, Foley started and ran NTC Group Inc., a private-equity firm, in 1985. The Bush administration named him to oversee most of Iraq’s state-owned companies in 2003. In 2006, he was appointed U.S. ambassador to Ireland, a post he left in 2009.

In his campaign, Foley promised to reduce the state government’s size as Connecticut strives to recover from the recession. The state’s unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in September, near a 34-year high of 9.2 percent in March.

Late yesterday, Foley said a bag of uncounted photocopied ballots had been found in Bridgeport, according to the Associated Press. He wants the ballots impounded, AP reported.

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