Angelo requests recount after coming 23 votes shy of Caisse

Angelo requests recount after coming 23 votes shy of Caisse

SMITHFIELD – Only 23 votes shy of the second-place winner in the Democratic primary for Smithfield School Committee, endorsed candidate Jeffrey Angelo has requested a recount in a final effort for a seat.

Unendorsed candidate Benjamin Caisse has been on edge since Sept. 8, when results were still too close to call for a definite win.

When mail-in ballots were counted last Friday, giving an updated look at the race, Angelo, an endorsed Democrat, was in third with 857 votes, or 31.3 percent of the total.

Caisse was up far more substantially on Angelo in polling place votes and emergency ballots, with a 93-vote combined margin, but Angelo narrowed the gap by 70 votes on the mail ballots, outscoring Caisse 441-371.

Angelo has requested a recount and the Board of Elections will comply with that request this Friday, Sept. 18, at 9 a.m.

“Based on the fact that there was less than 1 percent difference from second to third place, I felt that I owed it to myself, my supporters, and the Democratic Town Committee to request the recount just to make sure we all got it right,” Angelo said.

He said he will take time out of work at Tri-County Community Action to be present at the Board of Elections while the recount occurs.

Angelo, 35, said he decided to run for school board because of his love for the town, and he is willing to do anything to help.

Caisse came in a close second in the primary, earning 880 votes, or 32.1 percent of the vote.

“I completely understand why Jeff is requesting the recount,” he said.

The person to come out on top Friday will represent the Democrats in November.

Caisse is the only active teacher running for a seat on the School Committee. During COVID-19, he says it is important that someone with firsthand experience with distance learning work on the School Committee.

Anthony Torregrossa was the top earner in the primary, and will continue to the general election for Smithfield School Committee. The endorsed candidate Torregrossa earned 36.7 percent of the vote, or 1,005 votes.

In Smithfield, a total of 758 residents came out to vote in person on Tuesday, and another 154 residents went with early voting in person at Town Hall.

Torregrossa, 77, said the win felt good, and he is ready to campaign for the general election.

“If this was a playoff, I’m ready for the Super Bowl,” he said.

A retired Smithfield school teacher and coach, Torregrossa said he is familiar with being on the other side of the School Committee and will use his experience to keep Smithfield on the right track.

Of his endorsed running mate Angelo, he said he had hoped the numbers would change in his favor when the mail ballots were counted, but that was not the case.