ANSONIA — A recount in the race for the 17th Senatorial District confirmed Republican state Sen. George Logan won by a slim margin, bringing an end to a seesaw battle for the Senate seat that saw its share of twists and turns.
According to unofficial figures provided by the registrar of voters offices in each town in the district, which covers all or parts of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge, Logan defeated Democratic challenger Jorge Cabrera by 83 votes, 18,532-18,449, to earn a second term in office.
“It is an honor and privilege to represent my district again at the capital,” said Logan on Wednesday afternoon after each town had completed its recount. “I am looking forward to working with the new governor-elect in a bipartisan way to move our government forward and improve lives for everyone in the district and the state.”
After the results from the recount were tallied, Cabrera said he called Logan to concede and congratulate him on his win.
“We ran a close and competitive race. I am a first-time candidate and came within about 80 votes. I received over 18,000 votes,” Cabrera said. “I was happy to see that level of engagement.”
Cabrera, a 44-year-old Hamden resident who works for United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 919, thanked all the residents of the district, especially those who worked on his campaign.
“We had an incredible amount of energy and passion. We knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls. We left it all on the field,” Cabrera said. “But, in these things, you can come up a little short. And that is what happened.”
The race was a tight one from the start, and took a few turns before the dust settled.
As the hour grew late on Election Day, unofficial results had Logan slightly ahead of Cabrera. But, by the next morning, unofficial results on the state Secretary of State’s website showed Cabrera had won by 176 votes.
Two days after Election Day, the figures were updated due to an initial reporting error, and the unofficial results showed Logan won by 65 votes. The slim margin of victory triggered an automatic recount, which ultimately netted Logan 18 more votes and confirmed his win.
“This is a shining example of why it is important for folks to come out to vote. And it is a testament that every vote absolutely counts,” said Logan, a 49-year-old Ansonia resident who works as the director of environmental affairs for Aquarion Water Co.
The reporting error came from Ansonia.
According to Ansonia Republican Registrar of Voters Nancy Valentine, the town had a problem with one of its voting machines on Election Day. While the registrars tried to fix the problem, some of the same-day registration and absentee ballots were counted more than once, she said.
Logan, who was first elected in 2016 after defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Joseph Crisco, said he understands how these types of errors can happen with so much happening on Election Day.
“All these numbers are flying in and they are putting it on a tally sheet, and they have to try to get it as accurate as possible as soon as possible,” Logan said.
Logan said errors like these typically don’t make or break an election, and almost no one notices when unofficial figures change, unless it’s a close race.
“Adjustments are normally made. The difference is that one candidate is usually ahead by 1,000, 3,000 or 5,000 votes. So, when the adjustments are made and certified by the Secretary of State’s office one or two days later, no one really notices,” Logan said.
Logan credited the win to his message that he felt resonated with people in the district.
“I said many times Connecticut is becoming less and less affordable for more and more people. We need to make sure we, as legislators, solve the state’s fiscal crisis. And that we don’t do it on the backs on working families,” Logan said.