By Robyn Adams, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — One absentee ballot surfaced and another was missing in the 5th Assembly District recount of Tuesday’s Democratic primary, according to Windsor Town election officials on Friday.
Because of a 774 tie with endorsed Democratic candidate Leo Canty of Windsor and newcomer Brandon McGee of Hartford in Tuesday’s election, a recount was held on Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. in Windsor Town Hall. The result of the count is Canty 774 and McGee is 773, according to Windsor. Because Hartford had an additional absentee ballot for McGee, Windsor requested a recount.
Hartford will hold its recount on Aug. 21 at 9 a.m. in City Hall.
McGee, 28, ran a three-way race with Canty, 56, and Donald Trinks of Windsor. Trinks, the mayor of Windsor, garnered 265 votes and was cast as a “spoiler” for Canty.
Many failed to note the strength of his opponent’s grassroots organization.
“Nobody expected me to run such an organized campaign,” McGee said.
Many saw Canty as the favorite because he has been in the political arena for at least 30 years and is now the Democratic Town Chairman in Windsor. Canty lobbied the state legislature to redraw the 5th district lines to favor Windsor, which now has the majority of voting Democrats in the district, which was a stronghold ruled by former political boss Abraham L. Giles. It was also the district at the center of former Mayor Eddie Perez’s corruption trial. A six-member jury found Perez guilty of five felonies. Giles died in 2011. Perez is still appealing the verdict.
For Canty, the realignment was “a wish that finally came true.”
After the 2010 Census, the realignment of the district gave Windsor 5,000 voters. Hartford, which had the majority of voters under former State Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey, now has 3,000 voters in the 5th district. McGee and Canty is running to replace Kirkley-Bey, who retired earlier this year.
According to the Secretary of State’s office, a recount must be held by Tuesday. If there is still a tie, a second primary race will be held on Sept. 4.
After that, some Hartford residents said they will ask burning questions that cannot be addressed at this time, such as who were the people at the table during this latest round of redistricting, and what role did the Hartford legislative body play in this new realignment?
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