Months of campaigning for two county commissioner hopefuls could come down to a game of Texas Hold â€™Em, according to county officials. County Clerk Rhoda Coakley says state election rules call for a winner to be declared by lot if a tie ensues in any given race. Such is the case for James Duffey and Eloy Ortega, who both received 1,004 votes in the race for District 1 county commissioner.
â€œI think itâ€™s a little more dramatic than flipping a coin,â€ said Coakley, who indicated that playing a game of poker would likely be a more interesting way to conclude the race. However, county officials are waiting the possible return of two military ballots, which have until Monday to reach the clerkâ€™s office.
Both candidates received 1,002 votes until election of ficials said they later found four tallied ballots, Coakley said.
The four votes did little to determine a winner, as they were split between the two candidates. Also, nine provisional ballots that could have concluded the race in District 1 were deemed void by the clerkâ€™s office, officials said. Alas, pending the return of the military ballots, the two men may be dealt five cards before one of them takes a seat on the County Commission.
â€œI donâ€™t even know how to play poker,â€ Ortega said.
â€œI guess we have to wait and see what happens,â€ he said, while adding with a laugh, â€œI think that would be better than riding a bull.â€ Duffey agreed that time would yield a clear winner and added that thereâ€™s an important lesson voters should take from the results. â€œPeople who donâ€™t think their vote counts, need to learn something from this,â€ he said.
â€œYour vote does count.â€ And although a card game may determine a winner, Coakley said itâ€™s likely the runner-up will petition District Court for a re-count.