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Canty Declared Winner In 5th House District By 1 Vote


August 21, 2012

Leo Canty defeated political newcomer Brandon McGee by a single vote Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination in the 5th House District, ending days of back-and-forth over two recounts and discussion about whether a revote would be required.

Early results Tuesday showed that Canty and McGee had tied, with 773 votes each overall. But Deputy Secretary of the State James Spallone said that, ultimately, Canty won by one vote, 774 to 773.

Spallone said McGee has the option to contest the election in Superior Court.

"Under Connecticut law, if somebody feels aggrieved by that decision, they can bring action in Superior Court," Spallone said. "That's generally the recourse."

Neither McGee nor his attorney, John Kennelly, could be reached for comment Tuesday.

Canty said the tie vote discrepancy occurred because the numbers posted by the Hartford registrar of voters' office showed that he received 78 votes, when, in fact, he received 79. He said one absentee ballot was hand-counted because it could not be read by the voting machine, so it didn't show up in the printed results.

"A win by one vote is still a win," Canty said Tuesday. "It wasn't the easiest thing I've done in my life. It was interesting and pretty exciting and dramatic. We got to really test the system."

He said he plans to begin campaigning immediately for the November election.

A recount was called after both McGee and Canty tallied 774 votes in the Aug. 14 primary. A recount in Windsor on Friday showed that McGee had instead received 773 votes. Hartford conducted its recount Tuesday.

Canty, a political veteran who is the Windsor Democratic Town Committee chairman, received 79 votes in Hartford and 695 in Windsor.

McGee, 28, making his first run for political office, received 411 votes in Hartford and 362 in Windsor, according to numbers provided by the secretary of the state's office.

Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks placed a distant third in the race, with 267 votes.

Canty will face Windsor Republican board of education member Paul Panos in the general election in November.

Canty, the party-endorsed candidate for the seat, had been a decided favorite in the race against McGee.

Canty was the driving force behind a reapportionment that gave Windsor its first Democratic majority population for a House seat in more than 30 years. Canty lobbied legislators as they worked to redraw voting districts as required by federal law.

The realigned 5th House District includes about 5,000 Democrats in Windsor and 3,000 in Hartford.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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