The tight race between House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and upstart Michael Gagliardi is one of four races headed for a recount, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill announced Thursday.
Merrill sent notices notices to clerks in Berlin and Southington that the Democrat’s 37-vote lead over Republican Gagliardi fell below the 0.5-percent that triggers an automatic recount.
“You must immediately impound the voting machines, absentee ballot materials, moderator’s returns and all other notes, worksheets or written material used in the election to be recanvassed,” she said in the letter.
Merrill also ordered recounts in the 101st and 120th House districts and the 17th Senate District. The recounts must be completed by Nov. 14, and each campaign can have a staff present.
Aresimowicz and Democrats were already declaring victory Wednesday and touting their success in Tuesday’s election, saying they stretched their majority in the house to a 92-59 margin.
Aresimowicz also downplayed his tight race against Gagliardi, who entered the contest with just three weeks until the election after the prior nominee, Steven Baleshiski, abruptly left the race. He said Gov.-elect Ned Lamont and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, also Democrats, lost the district to their Republican rivals.
“I think I’m a rock star,” he said during a press conference Wednesday. The district includes parts of Southington and Berlin.
Gagliardi told the Record-Journal Wednesday that he planned to seek a recount even before Merrill’s letter.
“I think I owe it to the voters to have a close election like this double checked,” Gagliardi said.
The 30th House District is the only of the four races where a Democrat is in the lead going into the recount.
Rep. Noreen Kokuruda, R-Madison, leads Democrat John-Michael Parker by just 23 votes in the 101st District that also includes Durham.
Republican Jim Feehan is leading Rep. Philip Young, D-Stratford, who won the 120th District as part of a special election earlier this year.
Sen. George Logan, R-Ansonia, holds a 65-vote lead over Democrat Jorge Cabrera. Both candidates declared victory Wednesday, and Democrats included the seat in calculations when stating they went from an 18-18 tie to a 24-12 majority.