Republican challenger Tom Foley conceded the governor's race to Democrat Dannel Malloy early Wednesday afternoon, marking the end of a tough, contentious election campaign.

In winning a second term, Malloy took 51% of the vote to Foley's 48%. The 27,348-vote margin was wider than their first clash in 2010, when Malloy won by just 6,400 votes.

"We will have a full legislative agenda ready to go by Jan. 7," Malloy announced at a press conference Wednesday.

"I don't sit around a whole lot and I have things I want to get done and I know that this state needs to get done."

 "I don't see any new taxes," he said when asked how he plans to close a projected $2.8 billion deficit over the next two fiscal years.

Democrats swept all statewide races, returning incumbents to the offices of Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of the State, Comptroller, and Attorney General.

General Assembly margins narrow

The Democrats also retained control of both the State House and Senate, although Republicans narrowed the margins in both chambers.

Republicans picked up one seat in the Senate. East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica defeated Democrat State Rep. Elizabeth Ritter to win the 20th Senate District seat left vacant by the retirement of Senator Andrea Stillman.

With the loss of that Senate seat, Democrats no longer have the 22 votes needed to increase the constitutional spending cap.

The GOP also picked up a net gain of 10 seats in the House for a total of 64, the most the party has held in the chamber since 1994.

Other notable results:

  • House Republicans unseated Democratic incumbents Joe Diminco of Manchester, Tom Vicino of Clinton, Ted Moukawsher of Groton, Timothy Bowles of Preston, Brian Sear of Canterbury, Christopher Wright of Bristol, Paul Davis of Orange, Elissa Wright of Groton, and James Maroney of Milford.
  • Republicans picked up two seats vacated by Democratic Rep. Sandy Nafis of Newington and Waterford's Ritter.
  • State Rep. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield) easily defeated State Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-Fairfield) to win the Senate seat vacated by Minority Leader John McKinney.
  • Democrat Ted Kennedy Jr. won the seat vacated by Sen. Ed Meyer (D-Guilford).
  • All five Democrat incumbents won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Critical legislative session

CBIA president and CEO John Rathgeber congratulated Malloy and all newly elected lawmakers, and pledged to work with them to make Connecticut a top state for economic growth and job creation.

“The next legislative session will be a critical one for Connecticut," he said.

"Lawmakers need to create opportunities for private sector investment–doing so will grow the economy, create more good, well-paying jobs, and maintain our great quality of life.

"The business community looks forward to working with the governor and the legislature to create bipartisan policies to improve Connecticut’s economic competitiveness."

CBIA and dozens of other business, professional, and community groups support the CT20x17 campaign and its goal to make Connecticut a top 20 state for business by 2017.

Rathgeber also noted that it’s important for citizens to stay engaged after Election Day.

“Lawmakers must hear from their constituents throughout the year, particularly during the legislative session, to keep the focus on growing the economy and creating jobs,” he said.

The 2015 legislative session begins Wednesday, January 7.