(Updated 10:26 a.m. Thursday)
HARTFORD, CT — The Democrats are still in charge of the Connecticut House of Representatives, but at the moment their majority is much smaller with the loss of eight seats.
There will also be two automatic recounts in the 99th District in East Haven, where incumbent Democrat James Albis tried to fend off Republican challenger Steve Tracey. Preliminary results have Albis within 14 votes of Tracey.
There is also a recount in the 103rd District, which includes parts of Cheshire, Wallingford and Southington. Democrat Liz Linehan was 54 votes ahead of Republican Andrew Falvey on Tuesday.
And, there will be a recount in the 53rd District, which includes Ashford, Tolland, and Willington where incumbent Republican Sam Belsito with 6,383 votes leads Democrat Susan Eastwood, who garnered 6,336, by 47 votes.
Under Connecticut law, recounts are required in legislative races if the margin of victory is less than one-half of 1 percent of votes cast for that office or less than twenty votes.
The recount is facilitated by the head moderator of each town, who has five business days to complete the recount, according to a spokesman in the Secretary of State’s office. The deadline for any recounts resulting from the Nov. 8 election will be Nov. 16 because of the Veteran’s Holiday.
Even if the recount doesn’t change the result of the two races, the election results had Republicans in a very good mood on Wednesday.
“It’s unprecedented,’’ Pat O’Neil, spokesman for the House Republicans, said. “You have to go back to 1986 to see such a shift in power.’’
“Voters understood who has been in charge for decades at the state Capitol,’’ O’Neil said on Wednesday. “It is simply people being fed up with taxes going up and the state piling up huge deficits. People are angry and frustrated.’’
O’Neil said the “Malloy effect’’ helped Republican candidates. “People have seen his poll numbers – and everyone knows they’re not good,’’ said O’Neil. “The awful budgets and huge tax increases have just caught up with the Democrats.’’
House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, who is expected to be elected the next speaker, said Wednesday that he “congratulates the Republicans on their success.”
“We knew the election was going to be a tough one,” said Aresimowicz, who won a close race for re-election himself. “People were concerned about the direction of the state.”
But Aresimowicz added it’s easy to point fingers at the governor and the majority party “when you are the one having to make the tough decisions. I’m looking forward to putting this election behind us and working in a bipartisan manner.”
As far as specific races: William A. Petit Jr., the victim of a home invasion in 2007, defeated Rep. Betty Boukus, D-Plainville, the co-chair of the legislature’s bonding subcommittee, in the 22nd District.
Republican Nicole Klarides-Ditria, unseated Rep. Theresa Conroy, D-Seymour, in the 105th District. Klarides-Ditria is the sister of House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby.
Other Republican winners were Bob Siegrist in the 36 District; John Fusco in the 81st District, Anne Dauphinais in the 44th District; Greg Stokes in the 58th District; Carol Hall in the 59th District.