- Michael Cooper Staff Writer
Ronald Cobb won the third and final open seat on the New Carlisle City Council by just two votes after a lengthy hand recount was held by the Clark County Board of Elections.
Cobb finished with 432 votes, beating challenger Chris Shamy (430 votes) after a nearly five-hour meeting on Thursday at the Springview Government Center.
“It was a close tally,” Cobb said. “I hate to see Chris Shamy lose, but somebody’s got to. He fought a good battle. Now, I’ll go back and make the city stand up for what they’re supposed to. We’ll get the trust of the citizens back, and we’ll go from there.”
Unofficial results from Nov. 7 showed Shamy beating Cobb by six votes. That margin narrowed to one vote after provisional and remaining absentee ballots were counted. The tight margin — less than one-half percent — triggered an automatic recount.
Incumbent Aaron Leighty and challenger William Cook also won two open seats with 34 percent and 24 percent of the vote, respectively.
Nearly 500 provisional and postmarked absentee ballots were counted on Nov. 20, Clark County Board of Elections Director Jason Baker said, which saw Cobb (431 votes) take a one-vote lead over Shamy (430 votes).
An amended official recount was held before the recount because 35 provisional ballots weren’t counted due to issues with the ballots coming back with stubs not being attached, Baker said. The ballots were not initially counted, but after consulting with state and local officials, staff decided to count the ballots, he said.
The ballots added to the amended count gave Cobb 432 votes and Shamy 431 votes, Baker said.
After a series of hand counts didn’t match machine totals in one precinct, all precincts were required to be hand-counted to determine the winner.
Cobb is a longtime resident, and Shamy has lived in New Carlisle for the past 12 years. Both were first-time candidates. City council members serve four-year terms and earn about $4,800 annually.
Despite the loss, Shamy plans to run again, he said.
“I’ll be back in four years,” Shamy said.