Close race for one Monroe Town Council seat leads to mandatory recount

Republicans should hold 6-3 majority, one Democrat may change

Monroe Town Hall in the evening. Photo by John Babina

MONROE, CT — Three Democratic Party candidates for the Monroe Town Council finished less than 20 votes apart on Election Day, sparking a state-mandated recount, according to Peggy Villani, who served as head moderator.

The recount should not affect the Republicans’ 6-3 majority on the Council, but it may change one of the three Democrats who won on Nov. 7.

Janice Persico won a term on the Council with 2,437 votes, narrowly beating out fellow Democrats Jessica Katuska (2,428) and Kathy Loehr (2,420).

Though only one seat is in question, Villani said town registrars will have to do a recount for the entire Town Council. The recount will be held at Monroe Town Hall this Wednesday, starting at 8:30 a.m.

“We can have observers, but they cannot talk or be anywhere near the counting or touch any of the ballots,” Villani said. “A special committee of four, two Republicans and two Democrats, who will do the recount and a Republican and a Democrat will count the absentee ballots.”

The process will be extensive. The ballots will be run through machines for each of Monroe’s four voting districts, and absentee and EDR (Election Day registration) ballots will be counted, according to Villani, who will oversee it all.

“The results will be available at the end and will be posted online,” she said. “It will be on the registrars website. It will also be posted in the hallway of Town Hall.”

On Election Day, town Republicans easily won six seats on the Council with Sean O’Rourke garnering 3,250 votes, Enid Lipeles 3,225, Kevin Reid 3,180, Dona-Lyn Wales 3,131, Vincent A. Duva 3,067 and Jonathan Formichella 3,028.

Democrats winning seats were Jason Maur 2,820, Cathy Kohut 2,470 and Janice Persico 2,437.

Coming up short were Democrats Jessica Katuska 2,428, Kathy Loehr 2,420 and Susan Bannay 2,378.

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