The final votes are not yet tallied, but U.S. Reps. John Larson, Jim Himes and Rosa DeLauro, all Democrats, declared victory late Tuesday.
DeLauro, D-3rd District, told reporters late Tuesday, “Tonight we celebrate, and tomorrow the work begins.” She ran against wealthy businesswoman Margaret Streicker, who put more than $1.6 million of her own money into her campaign and mounted a vigorous effort. Justin Paglino of the Green Party also sought DeLauro’s seat.
“I think it’s a safe bet that I’ve won,” said Larson, D-1st District, shortly after the polls had closed. He was amassing a margin of victory of nearly two to one as the count continued.
At that time, he had not received a concession call from his Republican opponent, West Hartford council member Mary Fay, he said. “But she could be trying to call.” Thomas McCormick of the Green Party was also in the 1st District race.
Himes, D-4th District, also said he is confident he’s won his race against GOP opponent Jonathan Riddle.
“I am am enormously grateful to my constituents,” Himes said. The ongoing pandemic, he said, has made this “a very unconventional election.”
Himes also said he was “humbled” by his win and predicted a final tally of votes would show he won re-election by a wider margin than two years ago.
But Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, who faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from former prosecutor David X. Sullivan, said she preferred to wait “for all votes to be tallied before making any additional comments on the election.” Hayes was leading substantially as the night wore on.
“Like many people across the country tonight, I hope that candidates and officials show respect for the integrity of our political process, which means counting every single vote,” Hayes said in a late night statement. “I believe there is no better way to achieve that goal than leading by example.”
Hayes, however, said her “internal numbers looked promising,” and she hoped to “be heading back to Washington to continue the work we started.” Independent candidate Bruce Walczak was also a candidate in the race.
Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, who ran against Republican Justin Anderson, also held back his victory statement, although he is expected to win his race. His district encompasses the entire eastern half of the state — which includes a dozen small towns that favored Trump. Dan Reale, a Libertarian, and Cassandra Martineau of the Green Party also tried to unseat Courtney.
Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan political newsletter, said it’s hard for challengers to unseat incumbents in any election year.
“In most cases, the incumbent starts with a significant advantage in name ID, fundraising, and the ability to communicate with constituents through the duties of their office,” he said.
Gonzales also said “incumbents are also generally in alignment with the partisanship of the district, so challengers are either hoping the partisan behavior of the district changes or they have to persuade enough voters to split their tickets.”
Early election results indicated few Connecticut voters split their tickets. Democrat Joe Biden was unofficially declared the winner in Connecticut on Tuesday night.
Democrats were projected to keep their majority in the U.S. House.
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