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    Wednesday, May 29, 2024

    Preston PZC race is a tie after election recount

    Preston ― After a 2 1/2-hour recount Monday of three closely contested races in last Tuesday’s election, two races were resolved, but there’s a tie between the two Republican candidates running for Planning and Zoning Commission.

    Republican Fred Eddy, a current PZC alternate member, and newcomer candidate David Masalin each received 408 votes following Monday’s recount. On election night, Eddy had held a one-vote lead, Town Clerk Jill Keith said.

    The close races for Board of Education and Board of Finance also required recounts, and while a few votes changed, the outcomes remained the same, Keith said.

    Unless either Eddy or Masalin decide to withdraw from the race, the town must hold a special election for the one seat, with just the two Republican candidates on the ballot. The town must wait three weeks before setting the special election in place, Keith said.

    She said she has contacted both candidates and informed them of the outcome. She asked the candidates to consider whether they wish the town to hold a special election.

    “If one of them concedes, we’re done,” Keith said Monday night.

    Both candidates declined to comment Monday night about their plans.

    Masalin said he will inform Keith first when he makes his decision. This was his first attempt at running for elected office.

    “It was definitely interesting,” Masalin said.

    The race to fill two vacancies for two-year terms on the Board of Education also was too close to call on election night. Republican Nicole Serra topped the four candidates with 425 votes on election night, and after Monday’s recount, Democrat Michael Hinton was elected with 339 votes over Democrat Laurie Castronova who received 327 votes. Incumbent Republican Charles Raymond finished fourth in that contest, losing his seat.

    For the Board of Finance, incumbent board chairman John Moulson was re-elected with 455 votes, along with current Republican alternate Andrew Sawyer, 516 votes. The third-place finisher, Democrat Kayla Thompson, fell 20 votes short of her re-election bid.

    Democratic Registrar Andrew Sawyer said this is the first time he can recall that a municipal election required recounts in three races. Mostly, he said, one race with two candidates might require a recount.

    The recounts for Board of Education and Board of Finance forced those boards to reschedule their November meetings. The school board would have met Monday for its regular meeting. But with the two open vacant seats not yet decided by the recount, the board canceled Monday’s meeting and scheduled a special meeting for Nov. 27. The Board of Finance was scheduled to meet on Wednesday but canceled the meeting.

    Keith said she will recommend that elected boards not hold meeting in the two weeks that follow election night. Even in years without recounts, winning candidates typically have two weeks after the election to be sworn in to office, Keith said.


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