Derby Republican mayoral candidate Gino DiGiovanni chats with supporters after polling stations closed in the town's primary on September 12, 2023. DiGiovanni currently faces federal charges for being at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Eddy Martinez / Connecticut Public

Gino DiGiovanni, Jr., an alderman who is currently facing federal charges for trespassing at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, won the Republican mayoral primary in Derby following a recount on Friday.

DiGiovanni won the recount by 10 votes over incumbent Republican Mayor Richard Dziekan.

On Tuesday, DiGiovanni received 202 votes and Dziekan got 192. Races decided by less than 20 votes trigger an automatic recount under state law. City Clerk Marc Garofalo presided over the recount, which upheld the results from Tuesday night with no changes to vote counts.

[RELATED: Derby mayoral primary so tight, it triggers recount featuring alderman facing charges in Jan. 6 riot]

DiGiovanni, 42, was elected as an alderman 10 months after the attack. While he has acknowledged being at the Capitol on Jan. 6, he’s denied any wrongdoing. He was photographed in the Capitol Rotunda, after allegedly entering the building through a side door.

While he is not the first participant in the Capitol riot who has sought elected office, if elected, DiGiovanni could become one of the first in the nation to become an elected official.

But the race in Derby, a small city about 10 miles west of New Haven, is far from settled.

DiGiovanni will face a challenge in November from Democrat Joe DiMartino, who previously ran for mayor in 2021. Meanwhile, Dziekan, the incumbent, said he would continue to run as a candidate in the general election, sparking concerns among the city’s Republican Town Committee, which endorsed DiGiovanni, that the GOP vote could be split. Another candidate, Sharlene McEvoy, is also running as a petitioning candidate.

After initial vote tallies on Tuesday showed Dziekan losing to DiGiovanni, DiMartino issued a statement criticizing the incumbent for losing support of city residents and calling on the city to vote for him. The Democrat, who was DiGiovanni’s wrestling coach in high school, did not mention his current GOP opponent.

DiGiovanni has cleared one hurdle by winning the GOP primary but is approaching another even if he wins the general election in November. He still faces legal action from the federal government for his alleged role on Jan. 6 and is scheduled to attend a hearing on his case shortly after the election.

DiGiovanni previously said he isn’t sure if any legal issues could impact his ability to govern if he wins in November.

This story was first published Sept. 15, 2023 by Connecticut Public.