SOUTHINGTON — Votes were too close to call in the 16th Senate District primary, with candidates waiting on absentee ballots.
Dagmara Scalise, from Southington, was encouraged by early returns that showed her winning in her hometown.
Vickie Nardello, from Prospect, did well in surrounding towns. Her campaign workers said late Tuesday that they’d won Waterbury districts, making the race close enough to be swayed by absentee ballots that hadn’t yet been counted.
Southington is the largest portion of the district. It also includes Waterbury, Prospect, Wolcott and Cheshire.
“At this point we’re waiting for all the ballots to be counted,” said James Sinclair, campaign committee chairman for Scalise. “We are happy that Dagmara was able to have such a great showing in Southington and the rest of the district in her first assembly race.”
“We are leading right now but it’s very close,” Nardello said.
She said the support from volunteers who campaigned this summer was heartwarming.
“They withstood the heat. People door-knocked in the heat for me,” Nardello said.
She said she always expected the primary to be a close race.
Scalise was the Democrats’ endorsed candidate to run for the 16th Senate District, an open seat because Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, instead ran for lieutenant governor. The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face Republican Rep. Rob Sampson for the seat in the general election.
Scalise was appointed to the Southington Planning and Zoning Commission following an unsuccessful bid for Town Council.
Nardello was a state representative for the 89th District for nine terms until defeated in 2012 by Republican Lezlye Zupkus. Nardello tried unsuccessfully to unseat Zupkus in 2014. The 89th District includes Bethany, Prospect and a portion of Cheshire.
She had to sue Secretary of the State Denise Merrill to get on the ballot. Merrill said Nardello was ineligible due to filing errors, but Nardello argued successfully in Waterbury Superior Court that state errors had kept her from correcting problems on her candidate form.