Saturday, October 25, 2014

Narrow upset in county contest

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer | 11/6/2012

A newcomer will take the seat of a longtime incumbent county commissioner.

Unofficial results in Tuesday’s general election indicate Democrat Rick Howard unseated 12-year veteran Ed Taylor for the District 2 seat on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. The close race came down to the last reporting precinct, with Howard receiving a total of 1,262 votes and Taylor walking away with 1,200.

A newcomer will take the seat of a longtime incumbent county commissioner.

Unofficial results in Tuesday’s general election indicate Democrat Rick Howard unseated 12-year veteran Ed Taylor for the District 2 seat on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. The close race came down to the last reporting precinct, with Howard receiving a total of 1,262 votes and Taylor walking away with 1,200.

With such a small margin in the unofficial numbers, Howard said he is cautiously optimistic about his chances of winning the election because some votes have not yet been counted.

“There’s still provisional votes that have to be counted and I think there are several votes still out there, so it’s not a done deal yet,” Howard said Tuesday night after hearing the results.  

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners, as well as the county election officer, are expected to open any provisional ballots and count them starting at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 15 in the county clerk’s office inside the courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa. At that point, the official votes will be released, and Howard said he hopefully will be able to breathe a sigh of relief after the more-than-week-long wait.

“I feel good about being on top at this time,” Howard said. “Like I said, it’s very close and there’s several more votes out there to be sorted through, so I don’t want to jinx myself yet and say anything and get too happy about this until they get those in and see where we stand.”

Receiving more than 48 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results, Taylor said he was disappointed about the vote’s outcome, but that he was expecting a close race in the second district. He said he wishes Howard, whom he called his friend, luck in the future.

“I feel very fortunate to have served the 12 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the face of county government in that time,” Taylor said Tuesday night. “I think Franklin County is in good shape, and I wish him all the best.”

After 12 years of helping to canvass votes, Taylor said, he doesn’t expect the number of provisional ballots to cover the more than 60-vote spread between the two candidates.

“I don’t think you’ll get that many provisionals; there never is. I would be very surprised if there were that many,” he said. “Even if there were that many provisionals, you’re not going to get them all.”

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