Democrat James Albis retained his 99th District House seat, albeit by a slim 9 votes, after a four-hour recount on Saturday at the East Haven Community Center.
Albis, who has been a legislator since 2011, won the seat 5,004 votes to 4,995 from Republican challenger ‘Big’ Steve Tracey.
Before the recount, Albis had a 14-vote margin over Tracey. After the recount, Albis’ vote total remained the same, but Tracey picked up 5 votes from his original total – going from the 4,990 he recorded on Nov. 8 to the 4,995 total.
Albis, president of his own environmental company, was in attendance during much of the recount.
“I felt good about the recount,” said Albis. “The machines are very accurate. It’s a good and fair process.”
Tracey, who is a bail bondsman in East Haven, was also in attendance at the recount.
“I felt I ran a positive campaign,” said Tracey, “and frankly should have won. I almost did.’’
Albis said he was proud that he survived the “Trump wave’’ in East Haven.
East Haven voter turnout was strong, close to 80 percent – and – it also was a town that polled strongly for Republican Donald Trump, who garnered 54.25 percent of the presidential vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 42.86 percent.
Statewide, Clinton won Connecticut, garnering 54.59 percent of the vote to Trump’s 40.89 percent.
“Trump won the town by close to 1,500 votes,” Albis said. “I knew going in I would be in for a tough race because he had such strong support here.’’
The actual difference between Trump and Clinton was in East Haven was 1,442 votes – with Trump winning 6,867 to 5,425.
There were about three dozen volunteers who helped conduct the East Haven recount, which saw every single ballot cast recounted – some by machine and those that were most difficult to ready, by hand.
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.
Two other recounts for state House seats still need to be completed.
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 after Election Day.
Southington officials completed their 103rd District recount and Linehan picked up one vote, with Falvey winning officially winning Southington by 1,074 to 1,052 votes. That means Linehan now trails by 53 votes with Cheshire and Wallingford recounts still to come.
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.
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 Day Holiday.
Overall, the Democrats are still in charge of the House of Representatives, holding 79 seats to the Republicans 72, but they lost eight seats in the Nov. 8th election.
The Republicans also picked up three state Senate seats, meaning the GOP and the Democrats now hold the same number of seats in the Senate – 18-18.