Democrat Elizabeth Esty won a nail-biter election in the 5th Congressional District as Republican Andrew Roraback conceded late Tuesday night after Democratic votes from the cities provided the margin of victory.
Esty said that super PACs had spent millions of dollars against her in an expensive, high-stakes battle that was marked by a barrage of negative television commercials that battered both candidates. But she said that she, like U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy, had overcome the money that was spent against her.
“We proved in the House and we proved in the Senate that Connecticut cannot be bought,’’ Esty said. “Being on the receiving end of the super PACs makes me more committed than ever to campaign finance reform.’’
She added, “Let’s face it, folks. We were up against the odds in this one.’’
A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Esty said she made several decisions to get involved in public life that have led her to the major political prize of going to Washington, D.C.
“Ten years ago, I was an angry PTA mom,’’ Esty told the crowd. “Seven years ago … I realized I had to make a decision to step up’’ to run for the town council in Cheshire. When Murphy decided to leave his seat in the U.S. House and run for the U.S. Senate, Esty said, “I knew I had to make the decision to step up again.’’
Regarding Roraback, she said, “He’s a good man and a committed public servant.’’
Esty’s win came on a night when President Barack Obama and U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy swept to victory in Connecticut, helping Esty as large numbers of Democrats came to the polls.
“Democrats have been outspent in race after race after race,’’ Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told the crowd at Esty’s victory party in Waterbury. “Tonight, we won them all. … The bluest state of all states is as blue as its ever been.’’
In an emotional concession speech in Torrington, Roraback thanked his supporters.
“All I want to say to each of you is thank you for believing in me,’’ Roraback told the crowd. “We ran a super campaign — came up a few votes short. … No force is more powerful than the force of your friendship.’’
The Hartford Courant’s Amanda Falcone was at Republican Andrew Roraback’s concession speech and filed the following report:
Shortly after calling Democrat Elizabeth Esty and wishing her well, Roraback delivered his concession speech.
“Thank you for believing in me,” he told a room of supporters.
Roraback got emotional as he spoke of his family and campaign workers and volunteers.
In his speech, Roraback described himself as “the luckiest candidate on the face of the planet” because he has a wife and family and friends that have supported him throughout his campaign.
“This has been the most amazing experience of my lifetime,” he said.
Roraback said he will continue to serve his community and the state in some way, but did not elaborate. He will step down from his state Senate seat in January.
“I walk out of here holding my head high,” Roraback said. “I’m leaving here with a smile on my face.”
Roraback encouraged his supporters to smile as well, saying they were part of a campaign they could be proud of.