A recount has been ordered in the Board of Aldermen Fourth Ward Republican primary battle between incumbent Jim Capra and Mayor Mark Lauretti’s chosen candidate Bernie Simons.

Unofficial tallies Tuesday, Sept. 10, showed that those GOP candidates backed by Lauretti and the Republican Town Committee swept the city’s primary, with the closest race in the Fourth Ward. Simons, who forced a primary in the Fourth Ward with the backing of Lauretti and other RTC members — edged Capra, who was originally endorsed by the RTC in July but fell out of favor with top Republicans only days later, 324-319. Noreen McGorty was the top vote getter in the Fourth Ward, with 475 votes.

“The town clerk’s office ordered a recount because the vote count was under 20,” said Capra on Wednesday, Sept. 11. “I won at Mohegan School by 10 votes but lost by 15 votes in the absentees, bringing me five votes short.”

Capra said that the recount will be Friday, Sept. 13, at 8:30 a.m. at Registrar of Voters office.

“I think there is a feeling here that I should go out there and get the recount and be sure, and that is what I am going to pursue at the moment,” said Capra after learning the results on Tuesday. “I just want this to be fair.”

Capra was a part of Here for Shelton — which included Save Our Shelton members Greg Tetro and Peter Squitieri (Board of Aldermen, Third Ward); Mike Gaydos (Board of Aldermen, Second Ward); Chris Jones (Planning & Zoning); and incumbent Board of Education members Mark Holden, Anne Gaydos and Tom Minotti.

“It is hard to imagine after 28 years that our own would challenge us,” said Lauretti after learning the results with the winning candidates and supporters at the Czech Club Tuesday. “We did a great job in 1991, and we did a great job today, in 2019. This shows how important the team concept is. People say to me all the time what a wonderful job I have done. I could not do such a wonderful job without the supporting cast I’ve had for 28 years.”

“I tried. We tried,” said Holden. “They had more money, and they had some good lies. People on our team didn't want to raise your taxes. We thought money could be freed up by avoiding frivolous lawsuits against ourselves and cooperating like reasonable people. I'll remain active in community service, but I'll also devote some time to growing my insurance business.”

In Ward Three, longtime Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, Jr., finished with 471 votes and fellow incumbent Cris Balamaci earned 411, while Tetro had 238, Squitieri 215.

“This is a real affirmation of the Lauretti team” said Anglace. “This was done by the entire Republican party. Now I expect everyone to get back on the team for the general election.”

Longtime Board of Aldermen Second Ward incumbents Eric McPhearson (379 votes) and Stanley Kudej (363 votes) each made it to the November ballot, easily topping Mike Gaydos (156 votes), presently on the city’s Board of Apportionment & Taxation.

In the end, Lauretti’s quest to reshape the Board of Education took its next step, as incumbents Dr. Darlisa Ritter (1,774 votes) and Kathy Yolish (1,814 votes), along with RTC-endorsed Carl Rizzo (1,781 votes), Jim Orazietti (1,752 votes), Ben Perry (1,739 votes), Don Stanziale, Jr. (1,725 votes), Ruth Parkins (1,581 votes), John Fitzgerald (1,686 votes) and Amy Romano (1,819 votes) all topped present board Chair Mark Holden, Minotti and Gaydos. Minotti had 973 votes, Gaydos 925 and Holden 890.

“The Republican voters have spoken,” said Anne Gaydos, “and while I'm disappointed that I was not re-elected, I am proud of the time I served on the board, and stand by the fiscally responsible votes I made that supported what was best for our students and our school system.

“I plan on volunteering my time in other ways in our community. I wish the nine Board of Education candidates well, and I look forward to seeing what they will do for our students, and hope that they work well with and support our superintendent and his vision for the future of Shelton public schools,” added Gaydos.

RTC-endorsed Planning & Zoning candidates also swept in November, as primary hopeful Jones, the longtime Democrat who recently joined the Republican party, finished behind present P&Z Chair Virginia Harger (1,603 votes) and fellow incumbents Charles Kelly III (1,775 votes) and Ned Miller (1,794 votes). Jones finished with 1,050 votes.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com