A card game?

November 5, 2010 • Local News

Months of campaigning for two county commissioner hopefuls could come down to a game of Texas Hold ’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.

“I think it’s a little more dramatic than flipping a coin,” 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 clerk’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 clerk’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.

“I don’t even know how to play poker,” Ortega said.

“I guess we have to wait and see what happens,” he said, while adding with a laugh, “I think that would be better than riding a bull.” Duffey agreed that time would yield a clear winner and added that there’s an important lesson voters should take from the results. “People who don’t think their vote counts, need to learn something from this,” he said.

“Your vote does count.” And although a card game may determine a winner, Coakley said it’s likely the runner-up will petition District Court for a re-count.

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