A recount today confirmed the results for two races that were close enough to warrant a recanvass. The recount for the offices of Selectman and Board of Finance to fill a vacancy for two years upheld victories for the selectman seat by Bob Lessler (D) vs. Jeff Parker (R) and for the Board of Finance seat by Art Laske (D) vs. Wendy Bowditch (R).
The noon recanvass in the Easton Public Library community room reviewed the machine vote and absentee vote for the two offices and no others, Town Clerk Christine Halloran had previously confirmed.
A small number of voters observed the recanvass with the candidates and poll counters present. Everyone was in good spirits during the first half of the recount, but those in the room were clearly tired by the end of the careful, methodical process, which took four and a half hours to complete.
In the end, the election results stayed the same for the selectman seat with 11 votes separating Lessler and Parker. But the Board of Finance seat was a nail biter. Laske won with just one vote more than Bowditch, proving that every vote really does count. Laske gained one vote in the recount, changing the tally from 1,528 to 1,529. Bowditch gained two votes, raising her final tally from 1,526 to 1,528.
You can see the unofficial vote tally here: Bindelglass Wins Second Term as First Selectman. The official results are expected to be posted, and the newly elected candidates will be sworn into office in the next few days.
David Bindelglass won a second term as first selectman with 1,613 votes and Parker, his challenger, garnered 1,491 votes, as previously reported on Nov. 2. Bindelglass was sworn into office for a second term on Nov. 5.
Voters closely supported the two selectmen incumbents, with Republican Kristi Sogofsky receiving 1,586 and slightly exceeding Lessler’s 1,502 votes. The re-canvass was necessary because of the 11 vote difference between Parker and Lessler. The top three vote getters, regardless if they were running for first selectman or selectman, qualify for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. The recount sustained Lessler’s 1,502 votes to Parker’s 1,491 votes.
Both Board of Finance candidates stayed for the entire recount. Bindelglass made an appearance, as did Sogofsky. Parker was present for the first half of the session. “This is the perfect display of our local government at work and I’m happy to be here today,” he said.
Lessler said he was grateful to everyone who participated in the lengthy recount process. “All the poll workers had to come back and do a big do over.” he said. “We spent four and a half hours doing it. I’m very grateful for them, and of course, I am very pleased with the results. I’m glad that the people of Easton have displayed their confidence in me and have given me the privilege of serving for another few years.”
Lessler said he was looking forward to finishing some big projects in the next term. “One is to secure the funding and get going with building a new EMS building. And then completing the sale of the 19 acres on the South Park Avenue property. Those are the two most important things that we need to get going.”
Laske said, “It’s a wonderful situation when everyone can come together and vote in a fashion like this and respect the results as close as they are, but I credit Wendy [Bowditch] for having a great race and I look forward to serving for the next couple of years.”
Bowditch said, “Congratulations to Art Laske. Thank you to everyone who worked on the recanvass today. To everyone who doesn’t believe their vote counts, remember this day. I love Easton and look forward to serving in the future.”
Sogofsky said following her Nov. 2 victory, “There are still a lot of things that are up in the air. I think the fact that so many people came out and voted is encouraging for our town and community. I truly hope that we can all come together and get on the same page and work together as neighbors for the betterment of the community.”
Photos by Dalia Jennings and Kaitlin Katzenback