Dan Malloy beat Republican Tom Foley to become the first Democrat elected governor of Connecticut in 20 years, the Associated Press said.
Malloy, 55, prevailed by 5,637 votes, enough to avoid a recount, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz said in a statement today almost 72 hours after the official closing time of polls on Nov. 2. The post was one of 37 governorships that voters decided on nationwide this week.
The AP’s declaration of victory came after Malloy gained the most in a final tally of votes in the past day in Bridgeport, the state’s biggest city. A total of about 1.1 million votes were cast statewide, according to Bysiewicz.
Malloy, Stamford’s mayor for 14 years, will succeed Jodi Rell, 63, a Republican who didn’t seek re-election. Malloy, who pledged to overhaul the state’s tax code and create jobs, ran with Nancy Wyman, the state comptroller, who will serve as lieutenant governor.
Bysiewicz had declared Malloy the winner on Nov. 3, based on unofficial results. Foley, 58, also claimed victory, citing campaign estimates. Bysiewicz then said she wouldn’t say more on the race until Bridgeport’s tally was known.
The city’s 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 Democrats.
Foley, a political newcomer, 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.
Under Connecticut rules, if the winning margin were less than 2,000, a recount would have been required, according to Av Harris, a spokesman for Bysiewicz, a Democrat.