Despite arrest of candidate accused of assault, recount possible in race for CT U.S. House seat


EAST HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) — A race for the Republican nomination for the 2nd Congressional District in East Haddam may need a recount.

The race had some dramatic twists and turns before residents even got to cast their vote.

“I hope it’s true [the recount] because there’s been a lot of craziness,” said Justin Anderson, who is running for Congress.

His challenger, Thomas Gilmer — the endorsed Republican candidate — was arrested on the eve of Election Day for an alleged domestic assault charge.

Now, there may be an automatic recount, which is triggered when there is a 0.5% difference in the total vote count. The winner will take on Democratic incumbent Joe Courtney in November.

“If allegations aren’t true, he’ll have more opportunities to move forward in his political career but now is not the time to stop the Republican party from beating Joe Courtney,” Anderson said.

The August primary, marred by COVID-19 and Isaias, opened the door to nearly 300,000 voters casting absentee ballots. On Thursday — two days after Election Day — votes are still coming in via the US Postal Service.

News 8 cameras were the only ones rolling outside the court where Gilmer was released on bond, accused of strangling and restraining a former girlfriend.

He refused to commment.

Gilmer had said he would drop out of the race because of his arrest. News 8 has learned the Republican state party chair is asking the candidate to do what’s right for the sake of th,e party.

“It’s been a long 18 months, and a lot of campaigning hard work went into this, so yeah that would be great,” Anderson said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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