NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk firefighters have thrown their support to District C Republican Read Auerbach in his quest to be elected to the Common Council.
Auerbach’s opponents in the in-district race may be determined Friday in a recount of the Democratic District C primary results. If the tie between incumbent Council member John Kydes and newcomer Tyler Fairbairn, who both came in second to Jenn McMurrer in the primary, isn’t broken, there could be another primary in three weeks, Norwalk Chief of Staff Laoise King said.
There are two in-district seats available. Jennifer McAllister was fourth in Tuesday’s primary.
Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez and Wells haven’t answered emails asking what happens if the recount doesn’t break the tie between incumbent Council member John Kydes and newcomer Tyler Fairbairn, who both came in second to Jenn McMurrer in the primary. There are two in-district seats available. Jennifer McAllister was fourth.
Norwalk Republicans announced Thursday that Norwalk Firefighters Local 830 is endorsing Auerbach, a NFD captain assigned to Platoon 3 in the Broad River Station.
“Your commitment to Norwalk & your community is appreciated & we support your incredible efforts & know you will continue to do great things for Norwalk,” the announcement said.
Auerbach, a native East Norwalker, has been with the fire department for 43 years, his bio states. He’s a Vietnam veteran who still lives in the home he grew up in, is Third Taxing District treasurer and on the board of the Marvin Beach Association, and is a former East Norwalk Improvement Association board member.
Scott Goodwin is also running, under the Independents for Norwalk banner. He’s a small business owner who had a 25-year career as a corporate marketing executive in advertising and product management, and an East Norwalk Neighborhood Association member, his bio states.
McMurrer and Fairbairn say they were first inspired to seek the Democratic endorsements for Council when Kydes and Council member George Theodoridis (D-District C) didn’t reply to their inquiries regarding the Council’s cut to the budget recommended by Norwalk Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz this spring. That $1 million reduction came out of the schools budget.
The primary results, according to Wells, were:
- McMurrer 208
- Kydes 188
- Fairbairn 188
- McAllister 175
There were 392 ballots cast, 11 by absentee ballot, tapes from tabulators showed.
According to State Statute, if there’s a tie in a primary and it’s not broken by a recount, then there’s an “adjourned primary” in three weeks.
King said Norwalk would have an adjourned primary if there aren’t two clear winners of the recount. Unless one candidate drops out.
Wells has set up an unprecedented level of transparency in the recount, with camera broadcasting images of the questioned ballots and a Zoom broadcast of the overall scene.
He explained the recount process:
“The recanvass of the District C Democratic Primary for Common Council is tomorrow, Sept. 17, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. and will be held in the Community Room at Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk.
“The event is open to the public and especially to the candidates and the news media. We have two cameras set up to record the recanvass and to project it onto the large screen in the Community Room. One camera will be focused on the workers and tables, and another is set up for close-ups of any ballots discovered which might affect the results, i.e. which would be counted differently by people than the tabulator.
“At the same time we will be conducting a Zoom session with a different camera focused on the workers and tables where the ballots will be processed. The information for joining the Zoom session is below.
“The basic process of a recanvass is to check all the ballots voted in the primary to see if the primary night results are correct and identify any ballots which contain votes that the tabulators might have missed. The tabulator can only count the “filled in ovals” on the ballot, but recount officials are able to take voter intent into account. One possible example of this would be a voter who circled the names of his chosen candidates (intending to vote for each of them), but one or more of the circles missed going through the ballot voting oval (which would mean that that choice would not be counted by the tabulator).
“We have priority chairs set aside for the District Candidates and the press, plus room for interested members of the public. No one can touch the ballots except the recanvass workers, and no one may interfere with the recanvass process. The close-up camera will help the candidates and audience to get a good view of any questionable or interesting ballots.”
Town Clerk Rick McQuaid said, “Stuart and his staff have taken the recount to a new level for all to be part of the process of the recount.”
To watch the recount
Click here for Zoom
Meeting ID: 925 2884 4482
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Meeting ID: 925 2884 4482
Correction made, 11:58 a.m.: Read Auerbach is a former ENIA board member.