Girard asks for recount in Manchester mayoral primary

·2 min read

Sep. 24—Manchester conservative Richard Girard, who fell 128 votes short in the three-way city primary race on Tuesday, formally requested a recount on Friday.

Girard went to City Hall to ask for a recount, a process that the candidate said could take place next week.

"As President Ronald Reagan famously said, 'Trust, but verify.'" Girard said in a statement issued after formally requesting the recount. Dozens of his supporters have encouraged him to do so, he said.

On Tuesday, Manchester voters strongly backed incumbent Mayor Joyce Craig in the non-partisan primary, which does not take party affiliation into account and narrowed the field of three to two candidates.

A moderate Democrat, Craig topped the field with 52% of the vote. Victoria Sullivan and Girard, both Republicans, split the remainder, 24% to 23%. The remainder involved write-ins (23 ballots) and blanks (116 ballots).

City Clerk Matt Normand said the city requires a $100 fee for recounts; the last recount cost, which took place in 2015, cost the city $3,200.

Girard has won city-wide races for alderman and school board. He ran for mayor in the early 2000s and lost to Bob Baines, who was then an incumbent.

Girard said several factors went into his decision: the high percentage, nearly 10%, of absentee ballots, Windham's election last year, where inaccurate machine counts resulted in a swing of several hundred votes, and city procedures that allow a recount for elections with a difference of 10% or less.

"If nothing else, it will give people confidence in the results and the machines that counted them," he said.

In an email to supporters, Girard asked for volunteers to monitor the recount, when ballots may be challenged.

"If you want to get a unique look at how elections work, volunteer by replying to this email," he wrote.

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