2 Contra Costa County Races Back in the Mix

Election workers are now gearing up to pull Richmond ballots out of storage and count them all over again

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The recent tie-breaker drawing in Richmond's heated city council race may not be the final chapter as the brother of the losing candidate has requested and paid for a recount.

Two Contra Costa County races are now back in the mix as election workers prepare to re-count ballots.

Last week, the city clerk pulled Cesar Zepeda's name from a red paper bag declaring him the winner of Richmond's District 2 council race. Now, he's once again on pins and needles.

"The whole thing was over in a couple of minutes, and it seemed silly," said Daniel Butt, Andrew Butt's brother.

Election workers are now gearing up to pull Richmond ballots out of storage and count them all over again.

"When you've got a tie vote it's necessary," said Daniel. "My philosophy on this it has to be done. It has to be carried to a legal conclusion and will respect whatever that is."

The race between incumbent Antioch City Councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker and challenger Joy Motts will be recounted, too. Motts supporter Allen Payton helped raise money for not just a recount, but for a review of every box of ballots in the county.

"We're looking to find any other ballots that may be in any other boxes they may have missed," Payton said.

Tommy Gong, Chief Deputy Clerk-Recorder, said he's "very intrigued by the process."

"It's the first time I've done a recount for a tie vote, so it's a very unique situation," he said.

Gong also said it will take six days to locate, retrieve and prepare the ballots. That process has already begun.

The actual recount is expected to take place next Tuesday.

"Our gloves are not off. It's handshakes," Zepeda said. "We have to be able to work together for our community. We have to be able to heal District 2 because it's very divided."

If the results of the recount change the outcome of the races, the $25,000 fee will be refunded.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect photo of one of the candidates involved in the recounts.  We have corrected it, and apologize for the error.

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