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NATIONAL ELECTION RETURNS : EDITION-TIME COMPILATIONS : State-by-State Election Reports of Key Races and Issues : Connecticut

November 05, 1986

HARTFORD — Democratic Gov. William A. O'Neill thwarted a challenge from Republican Julie D. Belaga, while Democratic Sen. Christopher J. Dodd easily defeated Republican Roger W. Eddy.

Belaga, a moderate who serves as the deputy state House majority leader, won a three-way primary without the state GOP endorsement. Early polls had showed her within striking distance of O'Neill, who sought a second full term.

Her election would have made Connecticut the only state to have had two women governors. O'Neill assumed the job when Gov. Ella Grasso stepped down because she was dying from cancer.

Dodd, who won a second term, had been heavily favored in pre-election polls.

With 96% of the votes counted, O'Neill had 588,177, or 58%, contrasted with Belaga's 404,772, or 42%. With 96% of the votes counted, Dodd had about 66% vs. Eddy's 34%.

Incumbents--three Democrats and three Republicans--also were leading in Connecticut's six congressional races. Republican challenger Francis (Bud) Mullen, who left the top post in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to launch a political career, failed to translate his expertise in the drug problem into victory. He was soundly defeated by incumbent Democrat Samuel Gejdenson.

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