Judge: Hennessey appeal in Bridgeport primary can move ahead
A judge ruled Tuesday that state Rep. Jack Hennessey's challenge of the Democratic primary for Bridgeport's 127th State House District can move forward.
The Aug. 9 primary was a two-vote win for City Council Member Marcus Brown after two recounts.
"The court concludes that the motions to dismiss must be denied," said Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens Tuesday.
Stevens denied Brown's motion to dismiss the appeal challenging his most "recent" win of the primary.
Brown's attorneys had argued that the specific appeal was filed beyond the 14-day state-mandated deadline.
"We strongly disagree and are preparing our responses," Brown told News 12 Connecticut by phone Tuesday.
The first recount was ordered when Brown was leading incumbent Jack Hennessey, the city's current longest serving state lawmaker, by five votes.
After the recount, Hennessey was declared the winner.
"The court has jurisdiction to consider whether the recount should not be approved because it involved the counting of ballots that should not have been counted for any reason," said Stevens.
Brown then filed an appeal in Superior Court claiming many absentee ballots were lost.
"That the signatures on absentee ballots, applications where the voter was mailed a ballot and returned it was not the person who signed the application," said Hennessey campaign manager Maria Pereira.
Several missing absentee ballots were found during the second recount.
This time Brown came out on top as the winner.
Pereira told News 12 Connecticut by phone she is confident there were forgeries in the absentee ballots. She says a handwriting expert will testify later this week.
This case goes back to court this Friday morning.