Colin McEnroe (opinion): The art of losing gracefully.

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George Logan, GOP candidate for the 5th Congressional District

George Logan, GOP candidate for the 5th Congressional District

Photo by Ken Dixon

My hero of the 2022 Connecticut election cycle is George Logan.

Logan, a Republican seeking to unseat 5th Congressional district incumbent Jahana Hayes, lost a nailbiter that spilled out of Tuesday night and made a big puddle that soaked the entirety of Wednesday.

There were minor anomalies with the Secretary of the State tabulation site, causing it to show Logan in the lead with 100 percent of the vote in around the middle of the day Wednesday, even though votes were still coming in. There was a specific problem getting the Salisbury tally. (No truth to the rumor that Meryl Streep tried to vote as each of her characters.)

These are the kinds of hiccups that, in other places, have given rise to claims that an Asian cabal is using origami ballots to throw an election to a swan.

What did Logan do? He had his lawyers flyspeck the results for 36 hours and then conceded. He said there were unresolved issues, but not enough to change the outcome or trigger a recount. He congratulated Hayes.

Who does that?

They should have a ticker-tape parade for him.

Not everybody got the memo. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski was whupped pretty bad in his second bout with Ned Lamont. The 3-point margin from 2018 turned into a 12-point margin four years later. A 44,000-vote margin in 2018 turned into a 160,000-vote margin this time.

On Wednesday, Stefanowski issued a statement that was ill-considered and churlish. It read like he needed about 12 more hours of sleep.

“What we hoped to be celebrating as an achievement today can still be recognized as a substantial step in the right direction,” it said.

Think about that. You lost four times worse than you did the first time.

“I implore Governor Lamont to support the people who voted for him as much as the ones who did not.”

I’m sorry to be a stickler, but this is an inversion. You would ask the winner to treat the people who did not vote for him as well as he treats the people who did. And why implore him? It’s not like he’s revving up a chainsaw in the side yard of the governor’s residence. That’s not Ned’s style. Do you know how hard it is to get blood splatter out of madras?

“Politics has become too divisive and the great people of Connecticut deserve better.”

We all agree, but it’s hard to think of a more divisive figure in the state down the home stretch than Stefanowski who, beholding his woeful internal polls, started pumping out a lot of icky culture warrior and COVID demagogue tropes. It was like he dressed up as Arizona dingbat Kari Lake for Halloween and forgot to take the costume off.

I – what’s the word I’m seeking? – implore you, Bob. Please stop. Do something else. Coach soccer. Keep bees. Enter stone skipping contests. Prune bonsai trees, like Mister Miyagi. Geocache. Collect navel fluff. Bend forks with your mind. There’s a big world waiting out there for you and Amy.

The only hobby I would reserve for someone else is competitive duck herding which is, first of all, a real thing and is, second of all, what Republican state Chairman Ben Proto has been training for, possibly without knowing it.

Proto will catch some flak within his own ranks for failing to deliver (checks notes), well, anything. I rise in support of Ben. Give him at least one more chance. It’s hard to herd ducks, especially when you are asking many of them to run against mink, owls and bobcats, which is essentially what happens here in Connecticut.

Many of the things that went wrong came out of Greenwich, including Leora Levy and, well, Greenwich. And nobody has been able to manage Greenwich since Fred Biebel in the 1970s. God, I’m old.

The person who needs a talking to is Hayes, who almost got tortoise-and-hared out of office. Turnout in her district’s largest cities fell out of the sky like – Ben, cover the ears of your herd – a dead duck.

Danbury went from 31,000 to 21,000 in one cycle. Waterbury, Hayes’ hometown, dropped from 28,000 to 17,000. The pattern continued in New Britan and Meriden.

That’s on her. A year that turned out unexpectedly friendly to Democrats became Election Night 2022, sponsored by Xanax, for Hayes.

Get to know your constituents. More importantly, let them get to know you. On Election Day, you want to have your team calling some guy in Canaan and saying, “Marty, we noticed you haven’t voted yet. You still have that bulldog, right?  Do you need somebody to come over and walk Winston while you vote?”

That’s a ground game. Get one.

And if you lose anyway, go Logan.

Colin McEnroe’s column appears every Sunday, his newsletter comes out every Tuesday and you can hear his radio show every weekday on WNPR 90.5. Email him at Sign up for his free newsletter at