After losing the election for Jefferson County district clerk by only 785 votes, the Republican candidate is seeking a recount.
Charlie Wiggins ran against Democrat Jamie Smith for the position of district clerk, but lost to the Beaumont city councilman by a 1.5 percent margin.
“By midnight (on Election Day), it looked like we had won,” Wiggins said in a telephone interview. “But as the night went on, suddenly thousands more votes came in.”
The final election results show Wiggins fell behind by 785 votes. Smith received 26,657 votes, or 50.75 percent, while Wiggins came in with 25,872 votes, or 49.25 percent of 52,529 total votes cast.
“We feel like there might have been errors in voting,” he said. “We want to see if we can bring anything to light.”
When votes are that close, Wiggins said, something might change through a recount.
He filed a petition requesting a full recount of paper and electronic ballots on Nov. 10.
A candidate has two days after the final canvas from Election Day to request a recount. With the Veterans Day holiday on Tuesday, the county commissioners decided not to meet on Monday, so the canvas won’t be completed until Nov. 17.
Wiggins had to submit payment of around $11,000 with the recount petition, which he said came from contributions from his campaign supporters.
Another close race was that between Republican attorney Rick Williams and incumbent Democrat Donald Floyd for judge of the 172nd District Court.
Williams said he underwent the same thing as Wiggins, thinking he had won the election with only two precincts not reporting, but saw the numbers flip at the last minute.
He ended up with 48.39 percent of the votes, while Floyd garnered 51.61 percent and a difference of 1,692 votes. However, Williams said he does not plan to request a recount in his race at this time, but understands Wiggins’ decision.
“The people of Jefferson County need to have confidence in their election process,” Williams said.