Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont defeated Republican Bob Stefanowski in Connecticut's gubernatorial race.
It was one of 36 gubernatorial elections taking place in 2022.
Lamont narrowly defeated Stefanowski in 2018 and retained his seat in this rematch.
Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont defeated Republican Bob Stefanowsk in a rematch in Connecticut's gubernatorial election.
Lamont defeated Stefanowski in the 2018 election to succeed outgoing Gov. Dan Malloy.
Polls closed in the state at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Connecticut's gubernatorial candidates
Lamont is the governor of Connecticut, with voters electing him in 2018. Prior to being elected governor, he chaired the state investment advisory council where he oversaw a multibillion-dollar state pension fund. Lamont also made an unsuccessful run for US Senate in 2006. In 2008, he served as a state co-chair for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
The 68-year-old governor's handling of the pandemic lifted his approval ratings from the bottom to the top.
In March 2020, Lamont closed restaurants, bars, and other public venues, but kept schools and businesses open throughout most of the pandemic. When vaccines became available, he offered them by age cohorts, making the vaccines simple to administer, placing Connecticut among the leaders in vaccination rates.
Connecticut has had a Democratic trifecta — Democrats control the state's governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature — since 2011. The state is one of 14 Democratic trifectas in the country.
Lamont defeated Stefanowski in the 2018 election by a slim margin — just over 3 percentage points, or about 44,000 votes.
Stefanowski, Lamont's challenger, is a certified public accountant and certified financial analyst. Prior to entering politics, he served as an executive at multiple global companies, including DFC Global, UBS, 3i Group, and General Electric. Since then, Stefanowski has worked as an independent consultant.
During the pandemic, he and his wife, Amy, co-founded and launched "Masks for Heroes" in an effort to help the state fight COVID-19 when personal protective equipment was scarce. They went on to found "Masks for CT" and "Masks 4 Schools," hosting giveaway events with cloth masks for children, teachers, and bus drivers. These initiatives earned the Stefanowskis an NAACP Award from the Waterbury NAACP Youth Council.
Stefanowski was endorsed by President Donald Trump in 2018, but as of late, has appeared to distance himself from the embattled former president. He said he supports Connecticut's current gun safety laws, including the universal background checks and limits on high-capacity military-style weapons that were imposed after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He has also described himself as a supporter of abortion rights, saying he supports the state's current laws affirming a right to abortion up to fetal viability.
Connecticut's voting history
Joe Biden defeated Trump by a 20 percentage point margin in 2020. The state has voted for the Democratic candidate for the last eight presidential elections.
The money race
Both personally wealthy, the two candidates largely self-fund their election campaigns. Lamont, who does not take the state's annual $150,000 salary for the job of governor, earned more than $54 million last year. Most of it came from investment earnings, per newly released tax records.
Lamont had spent roughly $14.8 million, according to reports filed for the three-month period ending on September 30. His opponent, Stefanowski, had spent $9.2 million, as of September 30.
What experts say
The race between Lamont and Stefanowski was rated as "solid Democratic" by Inside Elections, "likely Democratic" by The Cook Political Report, and "likely Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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