• 73°

Richard to request recount in PA City Council race

A five vote difference in Saturday’s Port Arthur City Council race is close enough for one of the candidate’s to call for a recount, and he very likely will.
Keith Richard, who narrowly lost the District 5 race to incumbent Willie “Bae” Lewis, said Wednesday he plans request the votes be tabulated again.
Saturday’s vote was 740 to 735, in favor of Lewis. Those totals included mail-in ballots.
Richard said he would make an official announcement Friday, but has already made his mind up to petition for a recount barring any unforeseen circumstance.
Texas Election code indicates a race can only be recounted once.
A candidate may request a recount when the difference between votes is less than 10 percent of the number of votes received by the person elected, according to the state election code.
Richard can request a recount since the five vote difference between the candidates is less than the required 10 percent difference, or 74 votes in this case.
“My supporters deserve the recount,” Richard said. “All the lies and false accusations leveled against me during the campaign has given me more physical, mental and strength to challenge the results, which I believe will turn out in my favor.”
During the campaign, Richard took exception to a flier circulated around the city depicting him as Satan, with devil horns, shining eyes and pointed ears. The same flier stated Richard planned to fire city employees if elected.
Richard said he was not planning to fire city employees, nor does City Council have the ability to do so.
Richard also questioned the integrity of those depicting him as Satan —especially since he is the church pastor of f New World Harvest Church in Nederland.
“I started this election to win, and will finish it to the end,” Richard said.
Though he plans to make the formal announcement Friday, Richard has until 5 p.m. May 22 to do so, according to the Port Arthur City Secretary’s office.
The recount will not affect the canvassing of votes which is scheduled for May 20, other than a requirement that a note be attached to indicate a recount has been requested.
E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com
Twitter: skooncePANews