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Typo Leads To Wrong Candidate’s Election In Connecticut

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A typo on a local Connecticut election ballot has helped James J. Butler be elected to office when it was his father, James R. Butler, who was the candidate. (credit: Getty Images)

A typo on a local Connecticut election ballot has helped James J. Butler be elected to office when it was his father, James R. Butler, who was the candidate. (credit: Getty Images)

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DERBY, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — A typo has led to the election of the wrong man to a finance board in Derby.

James J. Butler was the highest vote-getter, winning 1,526 votes for the 10-member Board of Apportionment and Taxation, which oversees the town’s finances.

However, his father, 72-year-old James R. Butler, was nominated by the Democratic Town Committee for a second, two-year term.

The News Times of Danbury and New Haven Register report that James R. Butler says his 46-year-old son is not interested in politics or serving in public office.

In a letter to Derby Town Clerk Laura Wabno, Republican Town Committee Chairman Tom Szewczyk urged local Democrats to figure out the obvious mistake.

“I understand that mistakes are made, but this one is especially unfortunate,” Szewczyk wrote. He added that if the younger Butler was to be sworn in and resign to let his father take the post, it would serve as a violation of Connecticut State’s election law. “This would also be a huge disservice to our voters.”

Wabno told CBS Connecticut that it is still uncertain what the Democratic party and town officials plan to do next for an error that could have been avoided in the summertime.

“The error was made in the caucus back in July and nobody picked up on it,” she said.

Dan Foley, who was the town’s Democratic nominee for mayor, also is confused of the outcome, saying it was simply a misprint.

“We just don’t know how it happened and are backtracking to find out how,” Foley, who lost to Republican incumbent Anthony Staffieri by just 28 votes, told the Connecticut Post.

Av Harris, spokesman for the secretary of the state’s office, has said James J. Butler should be sworn in because he was elected.

Messages left by CBS Connecticut for Democratic Town Chair Sheila Parizo were not immediately returned.

Local officials are to take office Dec. 3.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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