AP calls GOP primary for Foley

Tom Foley promised “Change is coming” while accepting victory in Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary.

Foley, former ambassador to Ireland, was declared the winner over State Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield at 9 p.m. by the Associated Press.

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.

He 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, and urged voters to join him, in putting Foley in the governor’s office.

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?” Malloy's campaign senior advisor, Mark Bergman, said in a statement.

Bergman added that Foley “would take Connecticut's progress and shift it into reverse. He has spent his career making millions while destroying jobs. This is the same Tom Foley who in July told workers in Eastern Connecticut that it was their fault their factory closed. And, instead of telling Connecticut what he would do, he's spent the last three years chirping from the cheap seats, rooting for Connecticut to fail, and avoiding specifics, tough questions and details.”

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.”

Electing Foley, DiNardo said, would “roll back the clock.”

Tuesday, 9:27 p.m.: Sen. John McKinney has reportedly conceded the Republican gubernatorial primary to Tom Foley.

Tuesday, 9:13 p.m.: The Associated Press at 9 p.m. declared Tom Foley of Greenwich winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary over State Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield.

Foley, former ambassador to Ireland, will challenge the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and Jonathan Pelton, running a third-party campaign.

Lynne M. McNamee, Republican registrar of voters in Milford, reported a 15.6% voter turnout at the polls Tuesday in Milford for the Republican Primary.

Turnout was at about 10% much of the day, with a push later in the day that drove the percentage up.

Republicans in Milford number about 6,900.

On the ballot were Tom Foley (the party-endorsed candidate) and John McKinney for governor; Penny Bacchiochi (party-endorsed), Heather Somers and David Walker for lieutenant governor; and Sharon McLaughlin (party endorsed) and Angel Cadena for state comptroller.