Derby mayoral primary so tight, it triggers recount featuring alderman facing charges in Jan. 6 riot
Results in Derby show the Republican mayoral primary contest between incumbent Richard Dziekan and alderman Gino DiGiovanni, Jr. is too close to call and is headed for a recount.
DiGiovanni, who was charged by federal prosecutors for entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan 6. riot, was up by only 10 votes, according to an official final tally released by City Clerk Marc J. Garofalo.
DiGiovanni had 202 votes, while Dziekan had 192. Races decided by less than 20 votes trigger an automatic recount. That recount will happen later this week.
"It is anticipated that the recount will take place on Friday Sept. 15, 2023, at 12:00 noon at Derby City Hall," Garofalo said in an email.
Around 400 Republicans voted in the small town located about 10 miles west of New Haven.
DiGiovanni, 42, was elected as an alderman 10 months after the attack; he has acknowledged being at the Capitol on Jan. 6 but has denied any wrongdoing.
“I didn't go to an insurrection," DiGiovanni said. "I've said it once; I said it twice. I went to go watch ... President [Trump] speak for the very last time.”
“People ask me, 'Do you have any regrets of going that day?'" he said. "And, you know, that is so hard for me to answer — if it was just substantially on that day? Well, maybe."
DiGiovanni had the local Republican Party committee's endorsement, which Dziekan did not seek.
The primary winner will face Democrat Joe DiMartino, a former alderman, in the general election in November.
That contest is expected to be competitive. In 2021, Dziekan narrowly won reelection over DiMartino by a 48-vote margin.
This story has been updated. Connecticut Public's Patrick Skahill and The Associated Press contributed to this report.