Mary Glassman, the endorsed party candidate, conceded Tuesday night to former National Teacher of the Year and political outsider Jahana Hayes in the Democratic race for the 5th Congressional District.
Hayes, a first-time candidate, is a former National Teacher of the Year from 2016 who rose to fame following her selection for the award. It led to an appearance on Ellen Degeneres’ talk show, and meetings with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Hayes was emotional during her speech Tuesday night.
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"When we started this campaign 102 days ago, 102 days ago with no money, no network, no people, people told me I have no chance, and I had no business trying to do this, but tonight we proved them wrong. On November 6, we take back the House," Hayes said.
Glassman, the well-known and established former Simsbury First Selectwoman, acknowledged defeat in the race to replace U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty in the district that includes New Britain, Waterbury, Danbury and most of Western Connecticut.
Glassman said she'll fully support Hayes in her race to November, and offered her any help she can give.
"It's the mood of the people," she said of her loss. "People want something different and we heard that tonight and that's the Democratic process. And we need to focus on getting Democrats elected in November and that's what I'm going to do. I've always been a Democrat, served 25 years in public service and will never stop making a difference," Glassman said.
Hayes would become the first African-American from the Democratic Party to represent Connecticut in Congress if she wins in the general election.