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Rodriguez prevails in 23rd recount

August 21, 2018

STRATFORD — A win by six votes might seem like a real cliffhanger, but it’s a tall mountain to climb if you’re hoping that a recount will change the outcome.

In the August 14 Republican primary in the 23rd state Senate district, John Rodriguez came out ahead over challenger Casmir “Caz” Mizera 147 to 141. And after a two-day recount, the only change in that tally was one more vote for Rodriguez.

“This just goes to show that money isn’t everything,” said Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Chairman Mike Garrett. This was in reference to Mizera’s primary campaign being better-financed. “You have to have a message, too.”

In the machine-scored ballot system used in Connecticut, it’s unusual for election results to change much in a recount, officials say.

Bridgeport Republican Registrars of Voters Linda A. Grace said that Rodriguez — the party-endorsed candidate — picked up a vote from one ballot that could not be read by the machine. That made the final tally 148 for Rodriguez and 141 for Mizera.

“Now the campaign can begin,” said a happy Rodriguez on Tuesday. “But it won’t be easy — the 23rd is one of the most Democratic senate districts in Connecticut.”

The 23rd covers most of Bridgeport and a swath of Stratford’s South End, necessitating recounts in in both communities. Bridgeport’s recount took place Monday and the Stratford votes were looked at again on Tuesday.

In Bridgeport, Rodriguez received 132 votes to 87 for Mizera. In Stratford, Mizera came out ahead with 54 votes to 16 for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez lives in Bridgeport while Mizera lives in Stratford.

In a recount, the paper machine-scored ballots are examined for “voter intent” by officials if they can’t be read by the machine. Ballots that are unintelligible or contradictory aren’t counted.

Rodriguez will face Democrat Dennis Bradley, a Bridgeport attorney.

jburgeson@ctpost.com

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