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Embattled incumbent hangs on to Republican registrar job

Karen Doyle Lyons will get two more years in the registrar's office.

Karen Doyle Lyons will get two more years in the registrar’s office.

3:40 a.m. full rewrite.

NORWALK, Conn. – Karen Doyle Lyons, the 14-year veteran Republican registrar of voters, survived an attack from her own party leadership to win Tuesday’s primary over the GOP-backed candidate, John Federici.

The unofficial vote totals were 769 to 651. The totals do not include the 152 Republican absentee ballots.

“It’s a disappointment,” Federici said Tuesday night. “It was a lot of work. It was relentless.”

The Republican Town Committee fought hard to displace Lyons, calling into question her work ethic, competence and ability to get long with others. The RTC leaders also complained that she was not doing enough for the Republican Party.

Lyons fought back publicly, and a war of words erupted in various media letters to the editor and comment sections.

Last weekend, a flyer was sent out by Federici’s campaign with misinformation about where to vote. Lyons’ backers seized on the incident and turned it to their advantage. Lyons already had the support of Democratic co-workers in the registrars office – something that flew in the face of reports she could not get along with co-workers – and they jumped into action to correct the error, sending out a press release and holding a press conference to call attention to the problem.

RTC Chairman Pete Torrano said there are no plans to try to challenge Lyons on a minor party ticket.

“The voters spoke,” he said. “It’s over with. We have our candidates going forward, and we’ll get behind them.”

Lyons said she could not have made it through without her support system.

“My family and my friends are phenomenal,” she said, highlighting numerous times her grandchildren. “They worked so diligently in my campaign. Without my family and my friends you see here, and my veterans…”

Lyons also praised Federici, who stayed above the fray and out of the mud-slinging.

“John Federici was a total gentleman, and he’s always been a total gentleman,” she said.

Federici said he wants to put the entire thing behind him and work to bring the party back together.

“My goal now is to unite the party, mend the fences, bring everybody back together again and move forward as a united Republican Party,” he said. “It’s the only way we can survive.”

 

Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons and her husband, Dan Lyons, celebrate at the Norwalk Inn.

Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons and her husband, Dan Lyons, celebrate Tuesday at the Norwalk Inn after she defeated challenger John Federici in the primary.

 

 

6 comments

Jesse August 12, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Travesty. Sure hope John Federici petitions to get on the Nov. elections. It’s definitely time for Lyons to go!

rburnett August 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

The Torrano curse strikes again. Republicans spoke loudly and clearly and voted in the candidates NOT endorsed by him. Hopefully, this message will resonate and he will learn that people do not like dirty politics. I’m proud of the party for standing up for decency.

Casey Smith August 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

The unofficial vote totals were 769 to 651. The totals do not include the 152 Republican absentee ballots.
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Hold on one quick minute here. Why aren’t they counting the absentee ballots? My trusty calculator tells me that 651 + 152 equals 803. Of course, not all those votes would be for Federici, but all he would need would be 112 to tie and even less than that to demand a recount.
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So, while Ms. Lyons may have won this round, it wasn’t by much. And Ms. Lyons doesn’t have to worry about getting my vote come November. Ain’t gonna happen.

Oldtimer August 14, 2014 at 7:47 am

Hard to understand what the RTC leadership hoped to gain going after Karen Doyle Lyons. Obviously, they were not following a mandate from their people. Their candidate may have been a real gentleman, as Karen Doyle Lyons has said publicly, but that did not justify a primary trying to remove her. Someday, party leadership will come to understand they are elected to serve the party, not to make policy. decision

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