Easton Mayor Shannon Brown was confident Monday after a Democratic recount committee confirmed his March 6 nomination to be Pct. 4 county commissioner.
His five-vote win over former Longview City Councilwoman Kasha Williams held during the recount.
“I am pleased the recount committee verified the election results,” Brown said after the results were announced at 2:30 p.m. Monday following a roughly five-hour recount. “The count confirms that the mail-in ballots are not ‘unusually high’ as was previously reported. There are fewer mail-in ballots than there were 4 years ago. Now that the primary is over, I look forward to running against (Republican) G. Floyd in the general election.”
Williams stepped from the recount room in the Gregg County Courthouse with her attorney uncertain whether she will file a district court challenge to Brown’s reaffirmed primary victory.
“I’m still seeking legal advice,” she said as the pair turned down the hallway.
As on primary election day, Brown edged out Williams by five votes, 1,047 to 1,042.
Brown also said he has hired attorney C. Robert Heath in case Williams takes the next legal step. He described Heath as an Austin election law expert, evidently chosen to counterbalance Williams election-law lawyer, Buck Wood, also of Austin.
Brown did not attend the recount but was represented by supporters Scott Sexton and Dewayne Ward in the closed recount area.
After the recount, Wood raised questions he has had about the 824 mail-in ballots since primary night.
“We didn’t expect it to play out any differently,” he said. “In only one instance have I seen such a lopsided mail-in amount.”
He said it seemed a mail-in ballot went his client’s way perhaps one in 10 times.
Elections Administrator Kathryn Nealy said the recount also verified her office’s work and that of the ballot board that examined the mail ballots after the primary.
“Everything came out exactly the same,” she said. “Early voting was the same, election day was the same. I don’t think the count was the problem. I think they’re questioning those other things.”
Those things include whether all of the hundreds of people younger than 65 years and claimed a disability actually are disabled. She also questioned the authenticity of some signatures on the mail ballots, according to Brown.
“We have already been contacted by almost a dozen voters who received a letter from Kathryn Nealy informing them that she refused to count their ballot because she doubted the authenticity of their signature,” Brown said. “They are each ready to stand with us against voter disenfranchisement.”
Gregg County Democratic Chairman James Cogar, like Nealy, was not surprised by the recount results.
“You know, the (primary election) ballot board, if they spot a hinky mail-in ballot they don’t count it,” Cogar said. “So what we count (in the recount) is all the stuff that the ballot board has already ruled on. Basically, it was exactly what we thought it would be. It was exactly the same result as the (March 6) election.”