Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who overcame a GOP tide and tepid job ratings to win re-election last month, will lead the Democratic Governors Association in 2016.

Malloy, 59, the first Democratic governor of Connecticut in two decades, was named chairman-elect Tuesday, meaning he will automatically take over the top spot in 2016.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock was elected chairman, succeeding Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Super PACs associated with the Democratic and Republican governors’ associations spent heavily in Connecticut, contributing to the $18 million in independent expenditures made in the gubernatorial race.

Malloy defeated Republican Tom Foley, 51 percent to 48 percent. A petitioning candidate, Joe Visconti, also was on the ballot.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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