Incumbent Clinton First Selectman Ousted By 1 Vote in Recount - NECN


The latest news from around the state

Incumbent Clinton First Selectman Ousted By 1 Vote in Recount



    Checklist for a Healthier Fall
    Election 2015 is over for most of the state, but in Clinton, there is a recount taking place Saturday for first selectman after votes ended in a tie Election Day. Incumbent Democrat William Fritz, who has held the job for five terms, and Republican challenger Bruce Farmer each received 1,632 votes.

    Clinton's incumbent first selectman was ousted by his challenger by one vote after a historic recount Saturday due to a tie on Election Day.

    This is the first time the town experienced a tie in an election.

    "Never a tie, especially for the first position," Clinton Registrar of Voters June Hansen (D).

    Republican challenger Bruce Farmer ousted incumbent Democrat William Fritz, who has held the job for five terms, by a mere vote.

    “From the very beginning this has been about the town, not me. I’m not a politician. I don’t want to be a politician. I just want to give back to the town," Farmer said.

    After leading the town council for a decade, Fritz says his political future is uncertain.

    “Bruce did a better job of getting the people out than I did, and that’s what happens," Fritz said.

    On Election Day, both candidates were recorded as receiving 1,632 votes in the election. The recount Saturday, which started at 9 a.m. and went until nearly 12:45 p.m., revealed that Farmer had 1,634 votes and Fritz had 1,633.

    The public was invited to come to the basement of Clinton Town Hall to observe the recount and see  history in the making for themselves.

    Dozens of people filled a small room in the town hall to watch the recount.

    "I just wanted to see what the process was," Pat Anthony, of Clinton, said. "How it happens."

    Although one spectator likened it to watching grass grow, most people said it was interesting to see the process in person.
    "I voted, and it was a tie, and I thought your vote really does count," Kim Prario, of Clinton, said.

    Fritz told NBC Connecticut earlier in the week that he didn't' do enough campaigning this time around. Farmer serves on the Board of Finance.

    The town registrars tabulated the votes one by one. Once the count with the machines was done, they tallied them and hand-counted rejected ballots and absentee ballots.

    In the event of a tie, there was to be a special election Nov. 24, but the one-vote margin was enough to secure Farmer the win.

     Republicans have now taken over control of the five-member Board of Selectmen from Democrats for the first time since 2005.