Only 842 of Newtown’s 5,138 Republicans cast votes in Tuesday’s GOP primary — the majority supporting candidates who were unsuccessful in races that were expected to draw low numbers at polling places statewide. Locally, State Senator John McKinney received 520 votes to statewide victor Tom Foley’s 322.
Mr Foley was ultimately victorious, however, taking the lead as polls closed.
With all precincts reporting, the Associated Press had Foley winning, 56 percent to 44 percent, a 12-point margin of victory. The unofficial vote was 44,464 to 35,563.
With 80,000 votes cast, about 20 percent of the state’s 401,000 Republicans voted, compared to nearly 30 percent in 2010.
Locally, Sen McKinney’s running mate for lieutenant governor, David M Walker, generated 319 votes to beat Penny Bacchiochi, who received 257 votes, and Heather Somers who logged support from 257 Newtown Republicans. Statewide, the lieutenant governor’s race was headed to a recount until Ms Bacchiochi conceded the race to Ms Somers Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Walker came out third in statewide polling.
The only race where Newtown voters backed the statewide victor was in the state comptroller contest, where Sharon J McLaughlin handily outpaced Angel Cadena 467 to 247.
Sen McKinney, who became a fixture in Newtown in the days and months following the Sandy Hook tragedy, conceded with a promise to back the nominee, prompting cheers at Foley’s victory party, where the speech was shown live on television.
“Let me tell you, the race does not end tonight. The goal was to elect a new governor. The goal was to make Dan Malloy a one-term governor,” said Sen McKinney, the Senate minority leader for the past seven years.
According to a Connecticut Mirror report, after watching his 18-year-old son, Matthew, vote in his first election, Sen McKinney said he had no regrets or reservations about how his campaign unfolded.
“We’ve done everything we wanted to do, especially in the last two weeks,” Sen McKinney said. “Now, it’s up to the voters. It’s the ninth election I’ve run for, and each of the previous eight you wake up on Election Day hoping you’ve done everything that you wanted to do. And if you’ve done that, you can be happy. We’ve done everything we wanted to do.”