Democrats win after recount in 33rd Senate District

November 19, 2018

After 13 days, a reporting error and late recount, the close state Senate race in Connecticut’s 33rd District has concluded Monday with a victory by Democrat Norm Needleman, first selectman of Essex, according to Senate Democrats

The recount found Needleman defeated Republican Melissa Ziobron, a state representative from East Haddam, by 83 votes, said Adam Joseph, communications director for Senate Democrats, who had attorneys in towns where recounts took place.

Needleman’s win gives Democrats 23 of 36 state Senate seats.

The 33rd Senate District includes East Hampton, Deep River, Colchester, East Haddam, Essex, Lyme, Westbrook and Old Saybrook. It is now represented by Sen. Art Linares, R-Westbrook, who did not seek re-election because he ran for state treasurer, but lost in the August primary.

John Heiser of the Essex Registrar of Voters office told the CT Mirror they submitted the wrong totals to the Secretary of the State’s office on election night. The initial returns results they shared had Needleman leading Ziobron by 303 votes.

The new tally put the race within the margin in which a recount is required by Connecticut law.

Needleman, who self-funded his campaign, outspent Ziobron four to one, spending about $475,000 on his election bid, including a massive television commercial blitz, according to campaign finance filings.

Needleman has served as Essex first selectman for four terms, after holding many other positions in town government. He is the chief executive officer of Tower Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company in Essex, that employs over 150 people.

Ziobron was a state representative for three terms.

emunson@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson

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