Recounts Underway for Richmond, Antioch City Council Races

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Votes were being tallied for a second time on Thursday in two tight city council races in Contra Costa County.

One of the races was a tie that was broken by drawing a name from a bag. The other was decided by just three votes. Teams of election workers have been counting thousands of ballots by hand with candidates, lawyers and observers looking on.

"I'm trying to keep good positive energy. But it is a little nerve-racking," Richmond City Councilmember-elect Cesar Zepeda said. "Is it going to change? What's going to happen? But it's also very exciting."

Zepeda was declared the winner of Richmond's District 2 city council race after the race ended in a tie and the city clerk drew his name from a bag. His opponent, Andrew Butt, and his supporters are paying more than $20,000 for a recount.

"Given what we've seen up there in the recount, I think it's unlikely it will be a tie," Butt said. "One way or the other, who knows, but there are definitely ballots that are being questioned."

Tamisha Torres-Walker was sworn in last week after winning her Antioch city council race by three votes. Her opponent Joy Motts and her supporters are also paying big bucks for a recount.

"I don't think it's going to be different," Torres-Walker said. "I think I'm going to enjoy serving Antioch for the next four years."

It is the first time in recent memory a process like this has taken place.

The results of the recount are expected to be announced Friday once all the ballots are counted and the questionable ones are reviewed. But it may not be the end of it -- candidates in both of the contested races have indicated they may pursue other challenges.

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