Recount in Meriden Board of Education election set for Tuesday

Recount in Meriden Board of Education election set for Tuesday

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MERIDEN — A recount has been scheduled for Tuesday in the special election for a Board of Education seat.

Republican Joshua Broekstra garnered a total of 3,807 votes in the Nov. 5 election, according to information from the Secretary of the State’s office.

Broekstra’s opponent, Democrat Sheri Amechi, received 3,750. The 57-vote difference automatically triggers a recount because the margin is less than one-half of a percent of the total votes cast. 

All five Republican candidates won their races, which would have given the GOP seven seats on the board. But because of minority representation rules, the top Democratic vote getter, Michael Reynolds, will earn a seat if the Broekstra-Amechi vote count holds.

Board members in Meriden serve staggered terms, so not all members were up for reelection.

Republicans Robert Kosienski, Ray Oullette, Rebecca Wronski and Broekstra will serve alongside Republicans Kim Carbone-Pandiani and Allen Pronovost. The Democratic minority consists of Reynolds, Steven O'Donnell and Marisol Estrada.

Broekstra and Amechi ran in a special election to finish the last two years of Democrat Donald Green’s term, which ends in 2021. The Democrats had appointed Wanda Eddy, but her federal job prohibited her from running in a partisan election. 

Even if Broekstra loses to Amechi in the recount, the Republicans will still have the majority, Kosienski said.

Should Amechi win the recount, Republican Tony Martorelli is named in Reynold’s place, keeping the GOP’s 6 to 3 majority.

 “As inconvenient as they are, (minority representation) lends to fair representation on the Board of Education,” Reynolds said. “The board is responsible for spending the budget to benefit the students. The more voices, the better. I’m a Hartford Public School teacher, so I’m used to waiting for the dust to settle.”

Broekstra is confident that the recount will confirm his win.

“I felt good about the race,” Broekstra said. “I’m confident in our machines. It’s [a recount] required, and her right to have it.”   

“I respect the state-mandated requirement for the recount,” Amechi said. “I fully understand that this recount may not ultimately change the outcome, however I ran a hard, long race and appreciate the efforts to ensure that all votes were counted accurately.”
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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story had the wrong date for the recount. The recount will be held on Tuesday.