Recount Gives 4th District Race To Roldan By Five Votes
Margin Over Morales Actually Decreased From Election Night
By STEVEN GOODE and JENNA CARLESSO
August 16, 2010
HARTFORD — State Rep. Kelvin Roldan was declared the winner, by five votes, in a recount Monday of the Democratic primary for the 4th House District race.
Roldan, a two-term incumbent, eked out a victory over Angel Morales, an unemployed convicted felon who made an unexpectedly strong showing. Morales, who has worked with youths and is active on the Democratic Town Committee, has said he has turned his life around.
Roldan's margin of victory shrank during the recount, with unofficial results giving him a 382-377 victory. The election night tally showed him to be nine votes ahead of Morales.
Morales had said that Roldan, once a senior policy aide to former Mayor Eddie A. Perez, had lost touch with his constituents. Perez was convicted on corruption charges earlier this summer.
State law requires a recount when the vote margin is within a half percentage point of the total votes cast, or within 20 votes.
Roldan, who was accompanied by two attorneys who closely watched the clerks processing ballots, said Monday the recount reaffirmed the voice of the voters and that he looked forward to returning to the legislature to serve another term.
Roldan laid blame for his opponent's stronger-than-expected showing on his place on the ballot and on low voter turnout — about 16 percent.
He also refuted comments made by Morales and some residents saying that he lacked visibility and accountability.
"Absurd," Roldan said. He pointed to his attendance record at the Capitol, his job working for Hartford public schools, and the amount of time he spends with the elderly as proof that he's working hard for his constituents.
Morales declined to comment Monday other than to say "action will be taken accordingly."
Following the 4th District recount, which took nearly four hours to complete, city officials began recounting votes from the 1st House District race in which, official numbers show, incumbent Kenneth Green led Hartford City Councilman Matt Ritter by two votes.
For the Hartford portion of the 1st District, Ritter gained four votes. According to unofficial numbers, Ritter received 742 votes and Green received 582 in Hartford.
Green entered the city council chambers at about 2 p.m. Ritter was out of state but was represented by several supporters.
The recount in the 1st District won't be completed until today.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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