Valbuena Retains After Recount
A recount made after certification of Tuesday’s election results did not change the results of the magistrate judge race.
Eight votes remained the difference Friday in a race solely decided by Paulding voters.
Tuesday’s unofficial results had showed that county voters in the runoff for magistrate judge favored incumbent Martin Valbuena over challenger Dan Collins by a vote of 2,979 to 2,971. Officials with the Paulding County Elections & Voter Registration office gathered Friday to certify election results, and while the totals changed slightly, the result did not—Valbuena’s eight-vote lead remained in place, with the vote going 2,980 to 2,972 in his favor.
Both candidates were present at the elections office when a recount took place just after certification of the results.
“[Collins] came in at 12 when we certified, and gave us a letter requesting the recount, and we did the recount at 12:30,” said Deidre Holden, supervisor of Paulding County Elections & Voter Registration. “We did the recount, and the results stayed the same.”
Valbuena is now set to begin a new term in January, as no Democrats nor independents qualified to seek the office.
The certified results of Tuesday’s county elections, which are attached to this article, showed that 6,238 of 74,867 registered voters, or 8.33 percent of the county’s electorate, took part in the runoff—three votes higher than the turnout reported in Tuesday’s unofficial results. The July 31 primary had stronger participation with 17,854 voters casting ballots, putting its turnout at just under 24 percent.
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