Dear Easton Republican:
Re: Election Recount Results – Adam Dunsby and Scott Centrella confirmed as Easton Selectmen
As you likely saw in the media, the Superior Court in Bridgeport, on Monday, November 25nd ordered a recount of all votes that were cast for the office of First Selectman on Election Day, November 5, 2013 in our last Municipal Election. In compliance with the Court’s order the recount was held on November 26th, by our Election Officials, at Samuel Staples School. Both candidates had representatives overseeing the recount. Mrs. Valerie Buckley, a “write-in” candidate and registered Republican, ultimately received 1,026 votes, picking-up just 19 votes. The cost to the Town for this recount has not yet been determined but it will exceed $10,000. Adam Dunsby, Republican Party candidate for First Selectman, received 1,060 votes, picking-up just 3 votes.
Congratulations are extended to Adam as Easton’s new First Selectman as well as to Scott Centrella who was re-elected a member of the Easton Board of Selectmen for a 5th consecutive term with 1,044 votes, along with Democratic Selectman Robert Lessler. The closeness of the vote once again underscores how “every vote really does count”.
Despite Mrs. Buckley’s claim that every vote should count, which in the end they were, her lawyers argued to make sure the Selectman’s race was not recounted as well – a decision which ultimately could have cost the Town over $10,000 more for an additional recount. By strictly construing the Judge’s first ruling Mrs. Buckley’s attorneys fought efforts to recount Scott Centrella’s votes at the same time as the First Selectman’s recount.
Fortunately, the Judge did not order any further recount during the judicial hearing Friday morning. In spite of claims in the media that Mrs. Buckley magnanimously decided to refrain from pursuing any further legal action because “…it would not be good for the community”, this decision was made when it was crystal clear that any further action on her part was fruitless. At the hearing Mrs. Buckley’s attorneys had argued that certain ballots that had no name written in the write in section for the First Selectman’s race, and without any evidence of voter intent, should count for Mrs. Buckley. The Judge ruled against this interpretation of voter intent.
With this court-ordered recount at last finalized on Friday by the Superior Court there will not be any lingering or unresolved questions in the minds of the voters as to the outcome. Sadly, only 46% of eligible voters cast ballots, far lower than races for state and federal offices.
It was certainly a very unusual election year to say the least and I will have additional comments in the near future. In brief, a number of factors came into play – some we could control and others beyond our control. Without a candidate from the Democratic Party on the ballot for First Selectman, it was essentially an unusual two-way contest between two Republicans, one party-endorsed and the other a “write-in” candidate, leaving over 1,200 registered Democrats without a candidate of their party and 2,200 unaffiliated voters without a two party choice. This resulted in an unusually high number of “no votes” – over 250 in the case of First Selectman. In short, any vote not for Adam Dunsby was, by definition, a “write-in” vote.
Former First Selectman Tom Herrmann unexpectedly withdrew from the race as our party-endorsed candidate in early September due to an untimely change of circumstances in his professional career just as the campaign was getting underway. By then, Easton Coalition candidate Valerie Buckley had declared her candidacy but, in her first law suit against the Secretary of State, was denied a place on the ballot by the Superior Court after unsuccessfully complying with state application regulations. This litigation created considerable media attention (and perhaps some sympathy) for Mrs. Buckley and moved the focus away from key issues facing the town and the electorate. Ironically, we believe that not being on the ballot in the final analysis may have actually helped Mrs. Buckley. These were all factors largely beyond our control.
I will have more commentary on the entire election but I wanted to apprise you of these positive results promptly. Again, my congratulations to Adam and Scott for their victories as well as to Mrs. Buckley for waging a competitive campaign resulting in a close decision for First Selectman. All other Republican candidates for Town Boards and offices were re-elected or elected for the fifth consecutive election cycle in a row. Go to our website – www.eastonrepublicans.org for complete election results.
For those of you who supported Adam and Scott, our sincere thanks. For those who did not, for whatever reason, let’s all pull together now for the benefit of Easton and give Adam and Scott a fair chance to make their own marks on the new administration.
Let me extend my very best wishes to you and your families for the upcoming Holiday Season.