Tom Foley promised “Change is coming” during his victory speech after Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
Foley, a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, defeated state Sen. John McKinney by a 56%-44% margin.
The victory earns the Greenwich resident a rematch against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the former Stamford mayor who prevailed in a tight race in 2010.
Foley said Tuesday that Malloy has had four years, and thanked voters for choosing a “new direction.”
“Dan Malloy has had his chance, and change is coming,” Foley said on the podium in Waterbury.
‘I’m not part of the problem’
Foley said an “overwhelming number” of people he talked to around the state are “upset over where Connecticut is, and they should be.”
“I’m not part of the problem,” said Foley, who has portrayed himself as an outsider with business experience who can improve the state’s economy.
“I’ll end the tax-and-spend policies that have put a stranglehold on our state,” Foley said.
Conceding the race, McKinney said he would do everything to put Foley in the governor’s office — and urged all voters to join him.
While McKinney lost statewide, he defeated Foley in Shelton and generally did well in Fairfield County.
Democrats jump on Foley
Moments after the race was called for Foley, Democrats issued statements saying that it was Malloy whose policies were saving Connecticut.
“Elections are about choices, and the choice facing the people of Connecticut couldn’t be more clear: Do we want to continue the progress that’s been made over the past three and a half years, or hire someone who will stop this progress dead in its tracks, make a sharp U-turn, and take us right back to the failed policies that drove us into the ditch Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman have been digging us out of?” Mark Bergman, Malloy’s campaign senior advisor, said in a statement.
With turnout among Republicans low, Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo referred to Tuesday’s primary as a “snoozefest.”
“With extraordinarily low turnout, today Republicans showed their lack of enthusiasm for the candidates running,” DiNardo said. “For the few Republicans who did show up, they selected Tom Foley, who has run a campaign avoiding the tough questions and totally devoid of specifics and details.”