Updated 10:50 p.m.
Speaking to a crowd of Democrats, Jim Himes pledged that he will stand by his principles, but that he will compromise and do what is needed to move the country forward.
With his family at his side—minutes after his opponent, Steve Obsitnik, conceded, Himes delivered an impassioned acceptance speech.
"In the greatest nation on the planet where we all stand for individual liberty and freedom, but we all recognize that we are at our best, we are at our blessed, when we recognize that we have a duty towards each other.”
He went on to thank Obsitnik, calling him a "good man," who "ran a good campaign."
“In a nation of very ugly campaigns this one was an exception,” Himes said. "We value civility."
Looking toward the future, Himes reflected on the recurring message he heard as he traveled the 4th District this election season—one that mirrored President Barack Obama's platform: make sure the country recovers fully economically and that it provides opportunities for all.
"The greatest nation in the world can afford to education each child in this country superbly,” he said. "The greatest nation can make sure that not a single American dies or gets ill without access to healthcare."
“We celebrate indivduals, we really do," he said. "We say God bless you, go out there and succeed. Start a business. Get rich. Do well. Be a leader in your community, but also never forget, that you got there because like my oppposent Steve Obsitnik and I, we got to go to good public schools.”
In closing, Himes noted what he said most in the district and country feel, that the House of Representatives has been "pretty dysfunctional" the last couple of years. And that people just want things to get done.
His pledge: "I will continue to do what I have tried to do in these last four years, which is to be an independent and thoughtful leader of this district. That I will stand for my principles."
"At the end of the day, I recognize that governing involves standing for your principles, but getting together and making a compromise and doing what you need to do to move the country forward.”
Updated 10:22 p.m.
Obsitnik quoted Winston Churchill at the end of his concession speech in front of family, friends and supporters at Norwalk Inn. "In closing, there is no such thing as losing, just giving up too soon," he said. "...Tomorrow will be a bright day in America regardless."
Obsitnik thanked his parents and told his daughters that he would take them on a "long weekend" vacation now that the election is over.
After congratulating Himes on succeeding in the election, Obsitnik said that he hoped Himes would focus on "an environment where entrepreneurs and small businesses can recreate jobs and take Connecticut back to where we have been as a state."
Updated 10:11 p.m.
According to a Tweet from Himes, Obsitnik called to concede the race. "Gracious concession call from Steve Obsitnik. Good man. Worthy service. Did the GOP proud."
Updated 10 p.m.
With 8 percent of precincts reporting, Himes is out in front of Obsitnik 14,286 to 7,131 votes, according to the Hartford Courant.
A large crowd has gathered in Bridgeport, at the Holiday Inn, at Himes' Election night headquarters, waiting for the Congressman to come in. A crowd is gathered at the Obsitnik headquarters, too.
Updated 9:05 p.m.
Obsitnik arrived at the GOP gathering in Norwalk at just around 9 p.m. and was greeted by guests with a round of applause.
Updated 8:21 p.m.
The ballroom at Norwalk Inn, where Steve Obsitnik is expected to spend the evening, is slowly filling up with guests. Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia has already arrived and is actively mingling with guests.
Updated 7:45 p.m.
The stage is set at Bridgeport's Holiday Inn for Himes. Red, white and blue balloons and campaign signs give the scene a patriotic feel. Aside from a few members of the media, no one has arrived yet. The Congressman just stopped off at the Fairfield DTC headquarters, according to his Twitter account.
Updated 5:07 p.m.
Himes sent Patch the following statement about how he spent Election Day:
"I started my day voting and I’ve been talking with voters and making calls along with supporters who are getting out the vote. Because our responders did such an amazing job after Sandy, our polling places are ready. Everyone I talked with today has been excited about the election and they have already voted or are headed to the polls later today."
Updated, 3:30 p.m.
Obsitnik told Patch Tuesday afternoon about his busy schedule leading up to Election Night. "We've been up since 4:30 a.m. going around to train stations and polling places and just talking to people," he said via phone. The energy is very positive and strong. I'm looking forward to a very fun victory night."
While the third scheduled debate of the 4th Congressional race between Democratic candidate Rep. Jim Himes and Republican candidate Steve Obsitnik was canceled due to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, voters were given three chances to hear each candidate's position on both foreign and domestic issues and what they planned to change if elected.
The first debate in Norwalk, which focused on foreign policy, found Himes and Obsitnik agreeing on a few topics, including the United States' relationship with China.
"China provides us with a spectacular opportunity to trade with them, to get rich, as they buy our products," Himes said. "Unfortunately, we will never agree with the way Chinese leadership feels about how to run a political system."
Obsitnik agreed on the idea behind Himes' statement, but not his choice of words. Obsitnik felt as the U.S. continued to evolve and innovate as a nation, it would need to keep an eye on China. "China is our greatest national threat and our greatest opportunity," he said.
The two disagreed, however, on Afghanistan with Obsitnik and Himes each firing at statements from the other on what should be the appropriate approach to drawing down troops in the region.
"Jim Himes said he disagreed with the president here and I just haven't seen the fortitude behind it," Obsitnik said.
Himes fired back by saying that he at least 30 votes on the floor of the House of Representatives based on one principal. "I disagree with this President's nation-building strategy, and I've been very clear about that from the start," he said.
According to the Connecticut Mirror, the last two debates, which focused on domestic issues and took place in Norwalk and Bridgeport, didn't seem to show a clear difference between each candidate's position.
Himes accused Obsitnik of not "showing clarity" in his answers and instead offering partisanship, while Obsitnik accused Himes of being a "career politician," but they both agreed on issues, including preserving Medicare and repairng Social Security.
Most recently, Himes argued that a company owned by Obsitnik benefited from millions in taxpayer money, according to the Connecticut Post, while Obsitnik accused Himes of helping a now-defunct Bridgeport-based ship builder receive stimulus funds through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
- Himes received a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1988 and a Master's degree in Philosopy from the University of Oxford in 1990, while Obsitnik received a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1989 and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in 1996.
- Himes held positions at Enterprise Community Partners and Goldman Sachs & Co., while Obsitnik was the CEO of Quintel and an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University.