Ten-vote margin separates candidates in Port Townsend City Council race

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A vote tally many hoped would determine the winner of a contested Port Townsend City Council seat Thursday saw the leader pull ahead, but the race still cannot be called, county officials say.

Pamela Adams now leads Harold Sherwood by 10 votes, with 1,948 votes, or 50.13 percent, to Sherwood’s 1,938 votes, or 49.87 percent.

“I’m ready for this to be over,” Adams said as the new count in the Nov. 5 general election was announced.

Sherwood did not concede but said Thursday he didn’t expect the margin to change.

The 10-vote margin represents the exact 0.05 percent of the 4,085 votes cast in the city election that is the threshold for a recount, according to Elections Supervisor Karen Cartmel.

There are about 20 votes left to count, but it is unsure whether any of them will pertain to the Port Townsend race, Cartmel said.

Countywide, the office has counted 14,640 ballots returned of the 22,772 mailed to registered voters for a voter turnout of 64.29 percent.

The previously scheduled count will take place at noon today (Friday).

If the margin holds, then Adams would take the seat that is being vacated by Mark Welch, who chose to not run for re-election.

Adams, 69, a retired chiropractor, had a 26-vote lead over Sherwood, 65, a veterinarian, on Election Night, a margin that decreased to seven votes Nov. 11.

Adams arrived at the courthouse for the ballot count after receiving an email that the new count was scheduled to occur and carried a paper with three short written statements that responded to whether she won, lost or tied the election.

An automatic recount would be triggered if the margin fell below 0.05 percent, or in this case, one vote.

If this threshold is not met, the candidates, or any other citizen, can request a recount for 25 cents per vote.

After the first count, Sherwood said he would not pay for a recount, while Adams indicated that doing so is a possibility.

In the event of a tie, the winner will be selected by a coin toss, Cartmel said.

Sherwood said he still wanted to serve but realized it wasn’t going to be easy.

“Whoever’s elected will have a tough four years,” Sherwood said.

“If I call Pam, I’m not sure whether it will be with congratulations or condolences.”

________

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 14. 2013 6:47PM
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