Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recount bounces Geary from AG race
By Angie Oravec, Herald-Standard
Updated 08/12/2009 12:06:07 AM EDT
Email to a friendPost a CommentPrinter-friendly
A recount of primary election votes apparently changed the outcome of the Albert Gallatin School Board race.

Laurie Lint, director of the Fayette County Election Bureau, confirmed Monday that challenger Ryan Geary Sr. lost the Republican nomination in the spring race for school board.


Lint said a recount of votes was finalized mid-June. Votes were unofficial until that time. New vote totals show that incumbent candidate Kenneth J. Plisko bested Geary by one vote.

Plisko gained the fourth and final spot on the Republican ticket by securing 254 votes, pushing Geary out of the race. Geary secured 253 votes, an additional 13 votes as compared to unofficial election results in June, but less than the other candidates.

Geary did not receive enough Democratic votes to secure a spot on that ticket, either, so he will not appear on the ballot in the November general election.

Geary said he was "shocked" when the Herald-Standard notified him of the news Monday. Geary said he had not heard from the election bureau on the recount. He said when he called the bureau around July 4 to check on election results, he was told he was on the ballot for November.

He said he was just about to gear up his campaign for the fall.

"If I lost, I lost. So be it," said Geary, but noted he wonders how his election to the board could hinge on one vote when he had a higher vote total than Plisko in May.

Lint said votes not able to be scanned at a polling place were scanned in as part of the recount. She said some absentee votes could be included in the recount of the Albert Gallatin School Board race as well as the newly scanned votes.

Geary speculated that the scanned votes, when scanned at the election bureau, could have been counted twice. He also would like an explanation as to why a voting machine at the Fayette County Area Vocational-Technical School needed replaced.

"What happened? Why wasn't it working?" he asked.

"I just think it's funny," Geary added. "Something is not right. I just don't like the (vague) description I got (from the election bureau on the reason why I lost the Republican nomination)."

Although Geary is out of the competition, voters still will see a contested race. They will be able to choose four among five candidates - all who are competing for four-year terms.

Plisko, along with incumbents Edward F. Andria, Bill Boni and Ed Sutton, will face off against two-time challenger Terry Ryan. Ryan lost the election to school board in the 2007.

Andria and Sutton finished in the top spots on the Republican ticket, with 358 and 318 votes, respectively. New vote totals showed Andria and Sutton received an additional 33 and 22 votes, respectively, since June. Ryan still finished third, securing 276 votes, 27 more votes as compared to June.

Democratic vote totals also changed, but did not alter the outcome of the race.

Plisko cross-filed and secured a spot on the Democratic ticket with 1,752 votes, 46 more than in June. He placed third on that ticket.

Andria, the top vote getter on both tickets, received 2,215 votes, 102 more than in June. Sutton, second-place finisher on both tickets, received 1,838 votes, 52 more than in June. Ryan secured 1,498 votes, 39 more than in June. Bill Boni, whose name appeared only on the Democratic ticket since he did not cross-file, received 1,704 votes, 65 more than in June, securing the fourth and final spot on the Democratic ticket.

Plisko could not be reached for comment on the new outcome of the race Monday.

No comments: