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Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Foley wins New Canaan

Updated 6:04 pm, Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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With an anemic turnout in Tuesday's Republican primary, Greenwich resident and private equity manager-turned-diplomat Tom Foley defeated state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, of Fairfield, for the gubernatorial nomination.

Foley received 465 votes in New Canaan while McKinney received 327 votes. Foley, who lost Fairfield County, beat McKinney 40,007 to 33,992 statewide and now will mount a challenge against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the November election.

Norwalk bank executive Fred Wilms defeated attorney Emily Wilson to run for the 142nd General Assembly District, which includes District 3 in New Canaan and the northern and western parts of Norwalk.

Wilms, a senior vice president at Webster Bank and former chairman of Norwalk's Board of Estimate and Taxation, received 121 votes in New Canaan while Wilson, the party's endorsed candidate, received only 45. Including Norwalk votes, Wilms defeated Wilson 564-254.

The voter turnout in Connecticut was just about 20 percent, according to unofficial estimates.

In New Canaan, the number was even lower -- 12.4 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls. That's 1,592 out of 6,432 eligible Republican voters in town.

"I'm very disappointed," Kathleen Redman, Republican registrar of voters, said of the turnout. "I find it sad. It's the same thing every year. It's the middle of the summer, too many people are out of town.

"While we always strive for 100 percent participation," she added in an email, "we fell far short of that goal."

Wilms said the low turnout "was very much expected."

"Primaries tend to have a lower turnout, especially having a primary in the middle of the summer," he said.

Wilms will face Democratic candidate Andy Garfunkel, also of Norwalk, in the November election. House Minority Leader Larry Cafero is retiring after 22 years in that seat.

Wilms said "it feels great" to win the primary despite not having his party's endorsement. "As far as the party goes, we're coming together, we're going to be a unified team," he said.

"I'm really grateful for the confidence that was placed on me both in New Canaan and Norwalk," Wilms continued. "I'm going to do my best to make sure that we win the seat in November."

Wilson, who's a member of Norwalk's Zoning Commission and president of the Norwalk Senior Center's board of directors, did not return calls for comment.

In the race for lieutenant governor, David Walker came out on top in New Canaan with 294 votes, Heather Somers received 277 votes, and the party's endorsed candidate, Penny Bacchiochi, received 198 votes. Statewide, however, Somers was the winner, Bacchiochi came in second and Walker ended in third place.

In the race for comptroller, GOP-endorsed candidate Sharon McLaughlin won New Canaan with 551 votes, while her opponent, Angel Cadena, received 138 votes. Statewide, McLaughlin beat Cadena by more than 30,000 votes.

Redman said the election in New Canaan went "seamlessly" as no issues were reported.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson