Although voters in Clinton favored Daria Novak over Paul Formica by a vote of 236 to 215, at the end of the day, she lost her bid to become the Republican candidate for the 2nd District Representative in Congress.
Last night, Novak was grappling with a problem. With 60 percent of the Second District’s towns reporting in their primary results she realized she was losing to fellow Republican Paul Formica.
Should she concede? Was there any chance she could still pull out an upset and wrest the party endorsement from Formica, East Lyme’s first selectman?
“All these folks have worked so hard and it’s not fair to them to not wait for the final results,” she said, looking around at about a dozen supporters who had gathered with her at her primary headquarters in Madison.
A few minutes later, peering at a reporter’s laptop at a story about the second’s most recent results, Novak excused herself from the table where she was sitting to confer with her sister, Suzanne Novak, who helped run the campaign.
A minute later Daria Novak conceded defeat to the small group of supporters whose enthusiasm had begun to noticeably wane some time earlier.
“It looks like we’re not going to make the numbers this time that we need.”
But in defeat, Novak remained charasterically upbeat and positive; about her campaign’s efforts, her future and what she envisions as the Connecticut Republican party’s future.
She said she would throw her support to Formica, who will face off against incumbent Democrat Joseph Courtney in November, and that she intends to remain in politics in some capacity.
“I will back the entire Republican ticket.”
A stuanch conservative who drew Tea Party activists to her campaign and who called Formica a “liberal,” Novak acknowledged that any Connecticut conservative faces an uphill battle in this bluest of politically blue states. But she said she thinks her candidacy has helped focus the Connecticut Republican party’s attention on the need to return to core conservative values.
“We’ll continue to be active, no matter what, in rebuilding the Republican party. We’ve got to stand for something. We’ve got to have a backbone.”
She also said she was proud to have run a “positive campaign,” one that focused on getting voters involved in the process instead of tearing down her opponent.
“I think it says something about us that we ran a positive campaign. Win or lose we were out to get people to vote and create culture of participation and civil discourse. To me what’s most important is that we have to have a participatory culture to save the Republicans.”
This was Novak’s second run at serving the Second District. She was the party’s endorsed candidate in 2010 but then lost the nomination to former television news anchor Janet Peckinpaugh in a primary that year. Peckinpaugh lost in the general election to Courtney.
Figures provided by the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office show that Formica beat Novak decisively Tuesday night by a more than 2-1 margin. Formica garnered 13,151 votes to Novak’s 6,496 in the sprawling Second District, which stretches from Madison along the shoreline to the Rhode Island border and then up to Putnam. Novak also lost to Formica in Madison, her hometown, on a vote of 620-420. As mentioned, she won in Clinton.
You can view a PDF of the campaign results above.