Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford, suggests that perhaps phone calls for inmates could be free just on holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford. Kathleen Megan / CT Mirror
Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford, suggests that perhaps phone calls for inmates could be free just on holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford. Kathleen Megan / CT Mirror

A recount completed Friday gave Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford, a 17-vote win over Democrat Jim Jinks, the Cheshire council member deemed the winner last week before Wallingford officials discovered an error on Monday.

The final tally was 7,038 votes for Fishbein and 7,021 for Jinks.

Wallingford officials discovered Monday that the results tallied on the state’s election system did not include votes from the Yalesville Elementary School, one of the district’s nine polling places. The corrected results gave Fishbein a 21-vote victory, but one that fell within the margin that triggered an automatic recount.

The recount trimmed Fishbein’s victory margin to 17.

The 90th District was the only unresolved race. Democrats made net gains last week of six seats in the House and two in the Senate, giving them majorities of 97-54 in the House and 24-12 in the Senate when the new term begins in January.

Fishbein carried Wallingford by 381 votes, while Jinks won Cheshire by 364.

Fishbein, who won the seat in a special election after the death of Rep. Mary Fritz in 2016, was unopposed for re-election until June. Jinks, a Cheshire councilman, made a late entry into the race after Fishbein retweeted a racist meme that pictured Joe Biden over the caption, “If you aren’t setting fire to buildings, then you ain’t black.”

The meme was a reference to civil unrest after the death of George Floyd and a play on Biden’s remark, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black.”

Fishbein apologized and was censured by the Wallingford council, of which he is a member.

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Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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