Roller coaster mood for Foley’s supporters: ‘We probably have lost this race,’ he says

It was a roller coaster mood at Republican Tom Foley’s headquarters at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich on election night.

As early returns showed Foley out to a steady lead in the governor’s race, cheers grew, especially as good news continued to roll in nationally for the Republican Party, which dominated congressional and gubernatorial elections across the country.

However, as the hour grew late without an announcement on the outcome of the race, many supporters became tired and left to go home.

And when the race shifted back into Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s favor, loud boos rang through the hall.

Ultimately, at close to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Foley spoke and delivered what he said was going to be his concession speech. However, he took pains to stress that he was not formally conceding while also acknowledging the projections for the race appeared too much for him to overcome.

Need to confirm the numbers

Foley took a shot at Malloy for pre-emptively declaring victory without waiting for the final results or even calling him first to tell him he was going to speak.

“We are actually not sure we lost the race the same way he’s not sure he won the race,” Foley said. That created more loud cheers, but he quickly tampered them down.

“Don’t get too excited because we probably have lost this race,” he said. “I’m not going to confirm we’ve lost it until we’re sure we’ve lost it, and when we’ve done that we’ll call Gov. Malloy and let him know.”

Thanked many for help

Foley thanked the loud and passionate band of supporters left in what had once been a packed room and said how much he had enjoyed getting to know all of them during the campaign.

He also thanked his “unbelievable wife,” Leslie; his running mate, former Groton Mayor Heather Somers, and his whole campaign team and volunteers.

“I regret that I will not be able to deliver the change in Connecticut that we have dreamed about and feel would be in the best interests of our great state,” Foley said. “I was privileged to have worked together with you to pursue a different direction for Connecticut, which it looks like isn’t going to happen.

“But it was worth the effort and I particularly thank you for all you’ve done to help me along the way,” he said.

Noting the late hour, Mr. Foley ended his speech by telling everyone, “Go home and get a good night’s sleep. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Foley, a Greenwich businessman, lost a close race to Malloy in 2010.

Ken Borsuk is editor of the Greenwich Post, another Hersam Acorn newspaper and website.