Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine lost his bid to become the mayor of Stamford, Conn. on Tuesday — and blamed the press for the loss citing all the “lousy” coverage.
Democratic state Rep. Caroline Simmons appeared to win the race — though the Associated Press warned the contest was too tight to call and could be decided by outstanding absentee ballots.
Vote totals and percentages were not immediately available from Connecticut officials because of a technical glitch that hit that state’s elections results website, NBC’s affiliate there reported.
Valentine, in a short speech, called out the media for “all the lousy coverage” — before eventually congratulating Simmons, the local Stamford Advocate reported.
“I’ll always love the people of this city and will always think that Stamford is special,” he added.
The concession came four hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m.
Valentine, 71, is most famous for skippering the Mets to the 2000 World Series — only to lose to the cross-town rival Yankees.
He ran for the Stamford mayoralty as an independent against Simmons, a 35-year-old state lawmaker who had the backing of the Democratic Party, which typically dominates elections there.
Simmons will be the first woman to serve as mayor of Stamford, the state’s second-largest city.
She called it “a special day for Stamford women” in her victory speech. “Together we made history,” she added.
Simmons became the Democratic nominee after defeating the incumbent mayor.
Unaligned candidates typically don’t fair well in American elections, but Valentine got an assist when the Republican candidate dropped out of the race and endorsed him.
And the race attracted national attention.
Former Republican President George W. Bush, who was a managing partner of the Texas Rangers when the team fired Valentine as its manager, contributed $500 to the candidate’s campaign.
Meanwhile, former Democratic President Barack Obama endorsed Simmons.
Valentine — who spoke his mind at Mets manager and once wore a disguise in the dugout after an umpire tossed him from a game — stirred controversy when he belittled Simmons’ age and suggested she was privileged.
“There’s no chance of a 35-year-old girl who grew up in a private setting, going to a private school in Greenwich, Connecticut, could possibly relate to the diverse culture of Stamford, Connecticut, better than I do, no matter what the age is,” Valentine said. “It’s an absolute impossibility in my mind.”
Simmons slammed Valentine in a fundraising email to backers.
“Just this afternoon, Bobby Valentine said there’s no chance ‘a 35-year-old girl’ could possibly relate to the people of Stamford better than he does,” Simmons wrote. “His misogynistic comments are offensive to all women and girls in our city and we cannot stand for his demeaning remarks — whether it is to people who were not born here, people who can’t afford to own here, or women pursuing their dreams here.’’
– With Associated Press