Following lengthy recounts in Hartford and Bloomfield over the last two days, city Councilman Matthew Ritter was declared the winner of the 1st House District Democratic primary over incumbent Kenneth Green by two votes.
Ritter was able to make up a two-vote deficit on election night to Green, who made a strong effort to reclaim the nomination after failing to win the party endorsement at the May convention.
Ritter, 28, from a family with strong and long-held political connections in the city, said during the campaign that Green had lost touch with his constituents. Green, 57, dismissed that accusation, pointing to his work on several legislative committees while also holding a full-time job as a social worker.
A recount held in Hartford Monday showed that Green lost one vote and Ritter picked up three. According to unofficial numbers, Ritter received 742 votes and Green received 582 in Hartford.
Tuesday's recount in Bloomfield resulted in an identical tally to last week's primary. Green received 569 votes to Ritter's 411. The final tally was 1,153 for Ritter, 1,151 for Green.
Richard Orr, a Ritter spokesman and campaign volunteer, said Tuesday that Ritter was pleased with the high turnout and appreciated the efforts of election officials involved in the recount.
Orr said the importance of taking time to vote was highlighted by the fact that the last ballot counted for Ritter was submitted from overseas.
Steven Seligman, a Hartford attorney representing Green in the recount, said Tuesday that subject to any discovery of inconsistencies in the process, it appeared that Ritter had won.
"Representative Green wants to thank the voters and those who worked on his behalf," Seligman said. "More importantly, he wants to thank poll workers for their arduous efforts during this recount."
Seligman said Green, a 16-year incumbent, had not conceded, though.
"I have an obligation when the dust settles to determine whether any mistakes were made and if there are any grounds to seek a judicial review," he said.
State law requires an automatic recount when the vote margin in a particular race is within a half percentage point of the total votes cast or within 20 votes, according to the secretary of the state's office.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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