WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The wait to find out who will be West Haven’s next mayor is over. Incumbent Mayor Nancy Rossi has officially been re-elected.
Mayor Rossi declared victory on Election Day and announced she beat out her Republican challenger, Barry Lee Cohen, by a few dozen votes. This razor-thin margin prompted an automatic recount, which took place on Sunday at West Haven City Hall. In the end, just 32 votes separated Mayor Rossi from Cohen.
“When we say, every vote counts,” Rossi said. “They worked diligently to get the right information and make sure the vote was correct.”
Once the recount was over, Cohen and his team announced they are investigating and looking more closely into this process.
“We are entitled to integrity in the process and a fundamentally fair, honest election,” said Vincent Marino, Cohen’s attorney. “I regret to say that as we stand here today, we don’t believe we got that on Election Day.”
They claim there were problems with absentee ballots.
“The absentee ballots were not secured properly under the law,” Marino said. “They were put in an envelope, with a metal clasp.”
Marino went on to say, “the outer envelopes are supposed to be properly endorsed by the clerk. Here, we have many envelopes that are missing dates of receipt, times of receipt, or signatures.”
Cohen also called on the mayor to resign, pointing to the ongoing investigation into the alleged misuse of the city’s COVID relief money.
“This mayor should resign, and she should resign as of [Sunday night],” Cohen said. “Because it’s not about winning or losing, this city is really going to be reeling because there’s going to be more arrests.”
Mayor Rossi said she has no plans to do that, and she looks forward to winning back trust that might have been lost because of this.
“We are trying to move forward as best we can!” Rossi said. “We’re going to keep working together and get through this together as Westies do.”
The investigation into the city’s COVID relief money remains ongoing.