Newly re-elected Gov. Malloy enjoys a tight victory

Hartford — With another grueling campaign finally consigned to the books, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy basked in the winner’s circle Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging that the victory he’d claimed the previous night was official.

Four more years.

Standing before media and a standing-room-only crowd of supporters in the Old Judiciary Room at the state Capitol, Malloy said his Republican challenger, Tom Foley, had called him about 90 minutes earlier to concede.

“He called around 12:30 today to say they had kicked the numbers around and I had won,” Malloy said in response to a reporter’s question.

Another question brought him back to the subject near the end of a 20-minute news conference. “Had Foley been gracious?”

“I didn’t have my graciousness meter with me when he called,” Malloy said.

Pressed on whether Foley had congratulated him, the governor added, “I think he did.”

Returns posted Wednesday on the Secretary of the State’s website showed Malloy got 547,273 votes, or 50.7 percent of the 1.1 million votes cast, to Foley’s 519,925 votes, or 48.2 percent. Joe Visconti, the petitioning candidate who announced Sunday he was suspending his campaign and endorsing Foley, got 11,295 votes, or 1.0 percent.

“Actually, I have a majority,” Malloy noted, which was more than he could say four years earlier when he got less than 50 percent of the votes cast. His 27,000-vote margin Tuesday was more than four times greater than the 6,400 votes that separated him from Foley in 2010.

“Listen, we won an election,” he said in regard to his skinny mandate. “I’m willing to work with anyone who’s willing to work with me.”

The governor declined to discuss specifics of his second-term ambitions, saying he’d laid them out in detail during the campaign. He did say he foresees no increase in taxes.

“I don’t sit around a whole lot,” he said. “We’ll have a full agenda by Jan. 7 (the start of his term and the upcoming legislative session).”

Malloy had declared victory at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, citing vote totals that then showed he had a 12,000-vote lead with ballots in such Democratic bastions as Hartford and New Haven yet to be counted. In an interview late Wednesday afternoon with WTIC radio talk show host Joe D’Ambrosio, the governor said his campaign had contacted the Foley camp at about 11:20 Tuesday night to share vote totals that showed Malloy was going to win. Malloy said that when his campaign called Foley again about a half-hour later, it got no answer. That’s when the Malloy campaign decided to announce its victory.

I didn’t expect to get 100 percent of the vote,” the governor said. “We’re all Connecticut.”

He said he appreciated President Barack Obama’s recent Connecticut appearances on his behalf as well as those by first lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

“I never ran away from this president,” Malloy said. “I believe in this administration’s policy initiatives.”

On this day, Malloy, whose neckwear invariably contains some green, sported a solid blue tie.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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