HARTFORD, CT, (WFSB) - Republican Bob Stefanowski conceded to Democrat Ned Lamont on Wednesday morning following what was once a race that was too close to call.
Gov.-elect Ned Lamont addressed the state at noon, saying he is looking forward to everyone coming together to "get the state growing again."
On Wednesday, Lamont said he was finally able to give his victory speech the day after the election.
"Elections matter and I am reaching to each and every one of you, as I told Bob and the folks that supported him," Lamont said.
Lamont said Stefanowski called him Wednesday morning to concede and congratulate him.
Stefanowski later made it official on WPLR's Chaz & AJ in the Morning radio show.
"There are a ton of people out there who are hurting, and we got to get things moving, and hopefully this administration will do that," Stefanowski said on Wednesday.
Lamont and Stefanowski fought a tough campaign, but in the end a majority of voters felt Lamont should lead the state.
Taxes were a key issue in this race.
Stefanowski promised he would eliminate the state income tax; a pledge many considered unrealistic given the state's huge deficits.
Lamont hasn't ruled out raising any taxes, and supports tolls on trucks to pay for transportation.
"I am going to tell them the truth, I am going to tell them what I’ve said in the many months of campaigning, going forward we are not going to raise the income tax, we are slowing going to reduce the property tax over time. I am going to do everything I can to put electronic tolls on tractor trailer trucks, and we are going to get an honestly balanced budget that invests in the future,” Lamont said.
The governor's race was an important one for Democrats. It’s also the first time a Democratic governor has won an empty seat following another Democratic since the 1800's.
According to the secretary of the state's office, Lamont had 644,881 votes, with 94 percent of precincts reporting.
Stefanowski had 619,249 votes.
Check the results here.
In a statement Wednesday morning after Stefanowski’s concession, Lamont said “Earlier this morning, I received a call from Bob Stefanowski. After a long campaign, he could not have been more gracious, and I could not be more appreciative. I look forward to working with him, because we all need to come together – regardless of party – to solve our state’s biggest challenges. I’m humbled and I want every resident to know how grateful I am for this extraordinary honor. I will work every day – honestly and thoughtfully – to move this state forward and be a champion for Connecticut."
Stefanowski also released a statement.
A few moments ago, I called Ned Lamont to concede the race for governor and congratulate him on a hard-fought victory. I wish both Ned and the state of Connecticut success over these next four years.
While this is not the result we would have hoped for, I am glad that we were able to draw so much attention to the tax burden in this state. Think about it – at the beginning of this race, we were laser-focused on cutting taxes, while other candidates were talking about raising taxes. We were able to mold the discussion in such a way that the other candidates slowly began to come around to the same conclusion to varying degrees.
I am hopeful that by relentlessly focusing on that issue we’ve started the conversation on how we can start to bring the tax burden on Connecticut families down.
Words cannot express how humbled and honored I am at the tremendous support we received from people all across Connecticut during this campaign.
This road hasn’t been easy on any of us, but I want to thank my incredible wife Amy and my 3 beautiful girls for taking this journey with me – for having my back throughout this campaign - for putting up with the late nights and the nasty ads - and for encouraging me when I questioned whether we were doing the right thing.
I also want to thank to thank our army of tireless supporters who donated, put in countless hours on the phones, knocked doors, and helped to get out the vote.
I will be forever grateful for the love and support this state has shown me, my family and this campaign over the last year.
I have learned a lot over the course of this campaign, but the biggest takeaway for me has been the realization that CT is one big family. That won’t end with the campaign. We will continue to share that bond regardless of today’s outcome.
Gov. Dannel Malloy congratulated Lamont.
Elections offer a snapshot of the collective character as a state or nation. It’s our opportunity to affirm who we are and what we value. And today, Connecticut spoke loud and clear that we stand for fairness, inclusivity, and decency. That the politics of President Trump have no home here. That we resoundingly reject his politics of division, falsehoods, and empty promises. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Governor-elect Ned Lamont and Lieutenant Governor-elect Susan Bysiewicz. Unquestionably, Connecticut has forward momentum, and of all the candidates on the ballot for these offices, they are, by far, the best suited to keep the state moving in the right direction. Under their leadership, Connecticut’s future remains bright.