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Recount Flips Dem Seat To Republican!


After a second recount in a close Iowa House race, the Republican candidate won by 11 votes.

The result flipped from an initial recount that showed a Democrat leading.

Republican Luana Stoltenberg won the election to House District 81, earning 5,073 votes to 5,062 votes for Democrat Craig Cooper, according to the most recent recount.

Quad-City Times reported:

This is the second time the winner of the race flipped after recounts, the first after an auditor-run recount and this time once the candidate-picked board wrapped up its work.

The three board members signed off on the recount results Wednesday after more than a week of sorting and counting. Their final tallies showed Stoltenberg with 5,073 votes to Cooper’s 5,062 votes. Compared to the auditor’s count, the recount board’s totals showed 31 fewer votes for Cooper and 14 fewer votes for Stoltenberg.

Jim Hancock, a former Democratic Scott County Supervisor who both the candidates selected to serve on the board, said he was “100% comfortable” with the results they submitted to the county auditor, which had 45 fewer absentee ballots in the race than the county auditor’s count.

“Our process, I’m 100% comfortable with it — we are,” Hancock said, gesturing to the other two recount board members, who both nodded.

The recount board’s count is the final count, Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins said, which will then go to the Scott County Board of Supervisors and state elections board to certify.

The Des Moines Register added:

Cooper conceded to Stoltenberg on Wednesday. He thanked his supporters and accepted the second recount results but expressed concern about the recounting process.

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“A year of campaigning, walking many miles of neighborhoods and meeting residents, can be exhausting and oddly lonely but I don’t regret the experience,” Cooper wrote.

Cooper said he has “grave concerns” that the Scott County auditor’s initial recount differed from the second recount, which was conducted by a three-member board selected by the candidates. Cooper chose former Scott County Attorney Bill Davis, a Democrat, to sit on the board.

Stoltenberg chose former Scott County Supervisor Diane Holst, a Republican. They agreed on the third member, former Democratic Scott County Supervisor Jim Hancock.

That initial recount, which concluded Nov. 18, showed Cooper leading by six votes. Both candidates also had more votes in the auditor’s count — Cooper had 31 additional votes, and Stoltenberg had 14.

“Thirty-one votes I was given in one count disappeared entirely later and made a difference in the outcome,” Cooper wrote in a post on his campaign’s Facebook page.

Stoltenberg’s victory gives Republicans an even heftier majority in the Iowa House, with 64 seats to Democrats’ 36.


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