HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The lingering question over who will be Connecticut's new governor was settled Monday after Republican Tom Foley conceded the race to Democrat Dan Malloy despite calls by the state GOP for investigations into voting irregularities.
Foley, a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, said although photocopied ballots used in Bridgeport — the state's largest city — and six other municipalities amid a ballot shortage were unusual, they represented the good-faith efforts of people to cast their votes last week.
"The election on Tuesday, although very close, was a conclusive victory for Dan Malloy, and the results should not be questioned," said Foley, who called the Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, to congratulate him. "I hope my supporters will accept my word on this."
Later in the afternoon, Malloy held a state Capitol news conference and complimented Foley as "a classy guy" who exhibited grace under enormous pressure. The two had sparred throughout the campaign, with Malloy hitting Foley hard on his record as a businessman, accusing him of laying off hundreds of people — a claim Foley denied.
According to numbers posted Monday on the secretary of the state's website, Malloy was leading Foley by 5,810 votes, a figure that has fluctuated since Friday, when Bridgeport officials finally submitted their results after being waylaid by a ballot shortage and around-the-clock tallying.
The latest numbers show Malloy with 566,671 votes from the Democratic and Working Families Party lines and Foley with 560,861 from the Republican line. Independent Tom Marsh garnered 17,596 votes.
Foley, who has loaned his campaign nearly $11 million, conceded on Monday after his campaign spent the weekend reviewing election results. With help from the Republican Governors Association, teams working on behalf of Foley combed through tallies from all 169 towns and found no evidence of fraud, he said.
While they learned that Election Day and the following days in Bridgeport were chaotic, and that he expects some municipalities to amend their vote totals before Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz certifies the results, Foley said he's confident that the changes wouldn't alter the outcome of the race.
Bysiewicz has until Nov. 25 to certify the election.
Based on its own preliminary inquiry, the state Republican Party hired an attorney, Ross Garber, and sent letters to the U.S. attorney in Connecticut and the chief states attorney seeking investigations into the voting process in Bridgeport.
The party claims it has uncovered evidence that the process was plagued by "significant deficiencies, irregularities and improprieties, most notably in connection with the creation and distribution of ballots; the counting of votes; and the tabulation of election results," according to the letter.
Bridgeport's voter registrars acknowledged they ordered only 21,000 ballots for the election despite a recommendation from the secretary of the state's office that they purchase at least one ballot for each of the city's more than 69,000 registered voters.
The shortage led to delays at polling places, the use of photocopied ballots and eventually a court order that kept about half of the city precincts open two hours late.
Malloy and his running mate, Comptroller Nancy Wyman, said they are already working on the transition. Malloy said he spoke to Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who did not seek re-election, on Monday and the two plan to meet to review a state budget she's required by law to provide the incoming governor next week.
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