Recounts Requested in Richmond, Antioch City Council Races

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Contra Costa County officials may soon have to deal with two election recounts, including the Richmond City Council race, which was decided by pulling a name out of a hat.

Following Tuesday’s events, Richmond City Council candidate Andrew Butt decided it would be a good idea to leave town for a bit.

His campaign for a Richmond City Council seat, ended in a tie and, per city rules, the tie was broken by a city official drawing a name out of a bag. That name ended up being Cesar Zepeda, his opponent.

“I’m trying not to let it get the better of me. Being out here in the snow today is certainly helping,” Butt said.

But on Wednesday, one of Butt’s supporters has filed a request with Contra Costa County for a formal recount.

Butt told NBC Bay Area that he had some mixed feelings.

“A part of me just wants to move on,” he said.

NBC Bay Area spoke with Zepeda about the new development. While he believes in the democratic process, he doesn’t see the results changing and would much rather work to heal any divisions created between campaigns.

“What are communities needs is healing, building bridges, don’t need election ragged on,” he said.

The Richmond City Council seat is not the only race heading for a potential recount in Contra Costa County.

A supporter for Joy Motts, who lost her Antioch City Council race by three votes is requesting one too.

Motts posted on her Facebook page, the county has said it would charge around $38,000 to perform that recount.

Tommy Gong, the chief deputy clerk recorder for Contra Costa County explained the county is required by law to recover any costs related to a recount, which involves more than you might expect.

“Running reports, getting ballots off of the pallet, getting ballots sorted out of the boxes…this is all scheduled out,” he said.

But Gong did mention the cost could come down if there are multiple recounts and if the parties agree to do them at the same time.

If everyone agrees to all terms and pays, the recounts could take place within the next week.

For Butt, he hopes it brings closure to everyone involved in his campaign.

“I think a lot of my supporters feel the same way, we’ve come this far. It’s a lousy way to lose a race,” he said.

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