While the partisan makeup of the state House of Representatives appeared unchanged after Tuesday’s election, the precise split won’t be known for certain until a recount is conducted in the state’s southwestern corner, the state’s chief elections official announced Wednesday afternoon.

The contest for the 106th House District — which covers the bulk of Newtown — is the only one of Tuesday’s federal and state contests that triggered a mandatory recount under state law, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill said.

That House seat went to Republican Mitch Bolinsky, a marketing consultant, based on the preliminary report from Newtown election officials, who had Bolinsky outpolling Democrat Lisa Romano, a real estate agent, 5,748 to 5,700.

But because the 48-vote margin was within 0.5 percent of the total votes cast, a recount is mandated by state law.

“This close vote only serves as a good reminder why it is so important that everyone who is eligible to vote registers and makes their voice heard on Election Day by casting a ballot, since every vote truly does matter,” Merrill said. “I am confident that the registrars of voters in Newtown will successfully and accurately conduct this recount and get the official results to my office by next Wednesday’s deadline.”

According to state law, automatic “close vote” recounts are triggered by a victory margin that either falls within the 0.5 percent threshold, or is less than 20 votes.

The 106th District seat currently is held by Newtown Democrat Chris Lyddy, who is retiring from the legislature.

If the preliminary results are upheld in the recount, Republicans will have won 52 seats in the state House, compared with 99 for Democrats — the same margin that currently exists.

Based on unofficial results, Democrats captured three seats Tuesday that had been in Republican hands, including:

  • The 21st District, where Farmington Democrat Mike Demicco defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Bill Wadsworth, also of Farmington.
  • The 47th District, where Canterbury Democrat Brian Sear defeated Sprague Republican Noah P. Enslow. The seat had been held by Norwich Republican Christopher Coutu, who ran in the 19th state Senate District, losing that race to Sprague First Selectwoman Cathy Osten.
  • And the 144th District, where Stamford Democrat Michael Pollard toppled Republican incumbent Michael Molgano, also of Stamford.

But Republicans gained at least two seats held by Democrats, and will have a third if Bolinsky’s margin is confirmed. The other two seats now in GOP hands include:

  • The 34th District, where Republican Melissa H. Ziobron of East Haddam defeated East Hampton Democrat Christopher Goff. That seat is being vacated by retiring Rep. Gail Hamm, D-East Hampton.
  • And the 89th District, where Prospect Republican Lezlye Zupkus ousted veteran Democratic Rep. Vicki Nardello, also of Prospect.

Democrats also maintained their 22-14 margin in the state Senate Tuesday.

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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