HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Democratic state lawmaker George Jepsen will be Connecticut's first new attorney general in 20 years.
The Hartford Courant called the race in favor of Jepsen early Wednesday morning when results showed Jepsen with a 7-percentage point lead over Martha Dean with 81 percent of precincts reporting.
Jepsen had declared victory late Tuesday in his race against Dean. According to the Courant, he was leading by an unofficial margin of about 6 percentage points when he declared victory at 10:12 p.m. The margin was as narrow as 1.5 points half an hour earlier, the newspaper reported.
Jepsen, a longtime state legislator in Connecticut's 27th Senate District, received his party's nomination by acclimation at the state convention in May.
Two of four vying Republicans, Dean and Ross Garber, qualified for a primary bid, which Dean took with 60.5 percent of the vote in August.
On the campaign trail, Jepsen and Dean differed over whether the Attorney General's Office had become "overly powerful" and litigious under Richard Blumenthal's two-decades-long administration. However, both had promised to promote policies that would boost business growth and job creation.
Dean, a private practice attorney, also had promised to join the 20 other states challenging the mandatory health insurance provision of the federal health care legislation passed earlier this year.
Jepsen had dismissed Dean's promise as "overtly political."
Dean even filed a last-minute lawsuit questioning Jepsen's qualifications for the attorney general's office.
Jepsen's campaign, in response, had said his 26 years in practice and experience "in virtually every state court" more than satisfied the Connecticut Supreme Court's requirements for attorney general. He called the move "grandstanding" on Dean's part.
Jepsen served a total of 16 years in the Connecticut General Assembly, first as a state representative and then as a state senator -- the last six as the Majority Leader.
A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, the Ridgefield resident and his wife Diana have two sons, Christian, 17, and William, 14.
Jepsen has called Blumenthal "the gold standard for attorneys general."
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at email@example.com.