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Jahana Hayes declares victory in closely watched Connecticut congressional race

Jahana Hayes
Tyler Russell
Connecticut Public
Jahana Hayes, who represents Connecticut's 5th Congressional District, addressed supporters on Tuesday night. The race was too close to call Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Hayes declared victory Wednesday night.

Democrat Jahana Hayes has declared victory in her close and closely watched congressional race that pitted the incumbent against Republican challenger George Logan.

The Associated Press called the race for Hayes before 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Hayes' campaign issued a statement saying that state election officials informed them that her margin of victory was large enough to avoid triggering a recount.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday night, Hayes noted the high-profile nature of the race for the 5th Congressional District as outside groups spent millions of dollars on campaign ads.

“National Republicans threw everything at me but the kitchen sink, put millions of dollars in this race, really started a months-long, all-out campaign to shift the narrative,” Hayes said. “So I had to work twice as hard and really fight to hold this seat. And at the end of the day, I think that that is the message that resonated with the people in my community — that I am one of them. I'm going to continue to fight for them.”

Groups aligned with Republican and Democratic parties blanketed Connecticut in recent weeks with television campaign ads as they spent a record $12 million to influence a race that polls indicated would be a dead heat.

The district includes large parts of western Connecticut and suburbs west of Hartford.

The race received national attention because of the role it could play in determining which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives next year.

Hayes made history in 2018 as the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. Logan served for two terms as a state senator.

State election officials said Wednesday night there were technical difficulties with election returns from Salisbury and noted that vote totals from Salisbury hadn’t been included in 5th District race results. A paper copy of voting returns reviewed by state election officials expanded the margin of Hayes' victory to more than 1,800 votes.

“This total exceeds any statutory margin of victory that would necessitate a recount,” state elections director Theodore Bromley said in a statement. “As such, with the inclusion of Salisbury’s vote totals, there is no statutory requirement for a recount in the 5th Congressional District."

Logan plans to hold a news conference Thursday morning.

Hayes' declaration of victory ended a dramatic 24-hour period as the votes were counted and the race was too close to call.

Hayes told supporters Tuesday night: “I’ll wait patiently for however long it takes to count every single vote."

Logan addressed his supporters in Waterbury late Tuesday night, saying — at that point — he'd win by the "shortest of margins."

"We are looking good. But we still have more numbers to count," Logan said.

The Logan campaign issued a statement around noon Wednesday expressing confidence in a victory based on unofficial vote counts from state elections officials.

Soon after, the Connecticut Democratic Party issued a statement on Twitter.

"Once every single vote is counted and certified by election officials, we are confident Jahana Hayes will win re-election," the party said. "At the moment, some towns are under-reported in official records."

George Logan showed up to give an update at his watch party in Verdi Restaurant at Western Hills in Waterbury, Connecticut November 08, 2022.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public
George Logan gives an update at his watch party in Verdi Restaurant at Western Hills in Waterbury, Connecticut, Nov. 8, 2022.

Republicans had high hopes they could flip the seat and help their party gain control of the U.S. House. Republicans haven’t held a House seat in Connecticut since former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays lost in 2008 to Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, who still holds the seat representing a southwestern part of the state and was reelected Tuesday.

Speaking on Connecticut Public Radio’s Where We Live earlier this fall, Hayes said her message to voters is her record in Congress, including voting forthe American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Congress passed in March 2021.

Hayes laughs with Veronica DeLandro, a New Britain resident and former Congressional staffer. "I'm not declaring victory, I'm just saying what I said." Those were the closing words of Jahana Hayes' speech to close out her watch party on election day. But judging by the energy, she was the only one in the room not declaring victory.
Tyler Russell
Connecticut Public
Jahana Hayes laughs with Veronica DeLandro, a New Britain resident and former Congressional staffer.

Speaking on Where We Live earlier this fall, Logan said he would describe himself “as a proud Connecticut Republican. I’m more moderate when it comes to dealing with social issues and more conservative-leaning when it comes to financial, fiscal issues.”

Logan said he’s consistently supported women's rights, including access to an abortion, “as long as it’s safe, legal and rare.” Hayes recently took part in a discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris and the national president of Planned Parenthood on abortion rights.

George Logan with supporters at Kennedy High School as the polls close in Waterbury, Connecticut November 08, 2022.
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public
George Logan stands with supporters at Kennedy High School as the polls close in Waterbury, Connecticut, Nov. 8, 2022.

This story contains information from the Associated Press, as well as Connecticut Mirror/Connecticut Public's Lisa Hagen and Connecticut Public's Frankie Graziano.

Updated: November 10, 2022 at 10:26 AM EST
This story has been updated.
Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.
Eric Aasen is executive editor at Connecticut Public, the statewide NPR and PBS service. He leads the newsroom, including editors, reporters, producers and newscasters, and oversees all local news, including radio, digital and television platforms. Eric joined Connecticut Public in 2022 from KERA, the NPR/PBS member station in Dallas-Fort Worth, where he served as managing editor and digital news editor. He's directed coverage of several breaking news events and edited and shaped a variety of award-winning broadcast and digital stories. In 2023, Connecticut Public earned a national Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage that explored 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, as well as five regional Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence. In 2015, Eric was part of a KERA team that won a national Online Journalism Award. In 2017, KERA earned a station-record eight regional Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence. Eric joined KERA after more than a decade as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. A Minnesota native, Eric has wanted to be a journalist since he was in the third grade. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in Indiana, where he earned a political science degree. He and his wife, a Connecticut native, have a daughter and a son, as well as a dog and three cats.

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