CHESHIRE — Republican challenger David Veleber kept his victory over Democratic incumbent Michael Ecke in a recount held Monday afternoon.
Although Veleber’s lead narrowed from 15 to 14 votes, he remained ahead of his opponent.
“I’m excited about this. I look forward to now moving past this part of the process and getting to the fun and exciting part of representing the people of the first district in Cheshire on the Town Council,” Veleber said.
His victory also expands the Republican majority on the council which voters maintained during last week’s election. The party holds six of the nine council seats.
Veleber won 806 votes to 792. On Monday afternoon, election workers fed some of the 1,600 ballots cast through a counting machine. Election workers, with members of both parties over their shoulders, also counted any ballots which couldn’t be read by the machines.
Veleber is a real estate attorney and a Planning and Zoning Commission member. He’s pleased with his victory and was glad people supported him and a chance for fresh ideas on the council.
”I put a lot of hard work into it. I knocked on a lot of doors and met a lot of people,” he said.
Ecke couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. Judy Villa, Democratic town chairwoman, said the election was “pretty, pretty close”. Ecke, who’s been on the council for more than a dozen terms, has been budget committee chairman and council vice chairman.
“Cheshire is an interesting community, what can you say,” Villa said about his loss.
“We’ll see what six-three brings as opposed to five-four,” she said. “We hope the collaboration spirit will continue.”
In the mid afternoon, Veleber said the recount of absentee ballots and hand-counted ballots that the machine had rejected had resulted in one more vote for Ecke than was counted election night.
Veleber hoped the total of the machine-counted ballots wouldn’t change, but said he still had a 14-vote cushion if there were changes.
“I’d like to think the machine counted these right the first time,” he said.
With the election margin less than one half of one percent, it’s customary to do a recount unless one candidate concedes.