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    Sunday, June 23, 2024

    Old Lyme school board seat decided by one vote

    Old Lyme ― Democrat Alexander Lowry won a seat on the Region 18 Board of Education over Republican Suzanne Thompson by just one vote, according to the results of a recount Monday at Town Hall.

    “It’s an unexpected outcome, but it doesn’t change my approach, which is simply to do my best to serve all the stakeholders in Region 18 as best I can,” said Lowry, who added that now it’s time to get to work.

    Monday’s recount upheld the winners of the town’s elections for selectmen, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeals, and Zoning Board of Appeals alternates that were announced last Tuesday, according to Republican Registrar of Voters Catherine Carter.

    A recount must occur when there is a less than 20-vote difference between candidates, unless the losing candidate waives the right to a recount, according to the state Office of Legislative Research.

    The recount found that Lowry received 1,718 votes and Thompson received 1,717 votes for Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education, according to Carter. The recount was triggered after Election Day results had shown Thompson had four fewer votes than Lowry.

    In addition to Lowry, Democrats W. Scott Brown and Susan Fogliano also won the available Old Lyme seats on the nine-member Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education. In Lyme, Democrat Gavin Lodge was elected to the school board.

    Though Thompson lost the Board of Education race by one vote, she was elected Tuesday as tax collector.

    On Election Day, voters elected Democratic Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker as first selectwoman and Democrat Jim Lampos and Republican Judith “Jude” Read to the Board of Selectmen.

    The Board of Selectmen comprises the first selectman and two selectmen. The selectmen seats are filled by the two top vote-getters among the selectman candidates and the losing first selectman candidate.

    In determining the two selectmen seats, Lampos was the top votegetter, followed by Read and then Republican John Mesham, who was running against Shoemaker for first selectman and lost. Mesham received 1,701 votes and Read received 1,719, close enough to trigger a recount under state law.

    Monday’s recount found that Read received 1,715 votes and Mesham received 1,697 votes, according to Carter.

    “It shows how important it is to get out and vote because some of the races were so close,” said Mesham, pointing to the one-vote difference between Thompson and Lowry.

    Mesham congratulated the winners of the Board of Selectmen race.

    “I think it was a well-run contest, and we’re going to be looking to the future,” he added.

    Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Mary Jo Nosal said she was pleased the recount confirmed the vote of the people. She said the election officials did an excellent job of preparing for the election, managing the polls on Election Day and overseeing the recount.

    She said she was gratified that Democratic messaging resonated with the voters and there was an excellent turnout. She said all elected officials now need to work for the people of Old Lyme with respect and civility.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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