After razor-thin loss, Ledesma-Woody says she’ll seek a recount
After losing to incumbent Margaret Gómez by just 219 votes out of 21,677 cast in the Travis County Commissioner Precinct 4 race, challenger Susanna Ledesma-Woody announced Wednesday that she would seek a recount.
During most of Tuesday night’s ballot counting, it appeared that Ledesma-Woody would defeat Gómez and end her county career after more than 27 years in the Precinct 4 seat. However, Gómez pulled ahead after 10 p.m., and by around midnight the county’s longest-serving commissioner had prevailed.
In announcing her decision to seek a recount, Ledesma-Woody said, “I am extremely grateful to my campaign supporters, and especially the 10,729 voters who entrusted me with their votes. I am also aware of the effect of (Senate Bill) 1 on so many voters,” she said, referring to the state’s new election law that has tripped up numerous voters, especially those seeking to vote by mail.
Ledesma-Woody noted that many mailed ballots had been rejected and that in some cases, ballots came in late. She said she would ask for a recount, “Because the Travis County preliminary election reconciliation unofficial totals indicate that additional ballots can be added to the final count and because there is a 1 percent differential in the unofficial voting tally” for the Precinct 4 race.
Gómez campaign manager Joe Cascino told the Austin Monitor via email, “The Gómez campaign will respect the process and results of a recount if it occurs. However, we are confident that we have won this election and remain grateful for our supporters.”
According to the Texas Secretary of State’s website, a losing candidate may request a recount if the difference between the number of votes received by the candidate requesting the recount and the candidate elected is less than 10 percent.
Gretchen Nagy, director of the Travis County tax office’s voter registration division, said her office has received about 350 provisional ballots for all of Travis County. Of those, 98 are from voters in Precinct 4, she said. Starting Thursday, county election workers will be reviewing the voter registration information for those ballots and making decisions about whether the votes could be counted. Nagy said her office has until next Monday at 5 p.m. to make those decisions.
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