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Recount deadline set after close Ward 2 primary vote

WILLMAR -- The deadline is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 16 to file a request to recount the returns in Tuesday's close primary race for the Willmar City Council's Second Ward seat.

City Clerk Kevin Halliday said the 1-vote difference between second-place finisher Steve Gardner, the incumbent council member, and third-place finisher Bob Skor falls within the range under which state law allows a losing candidate to request a recount.

Under state law, the losing candidate may request a recount if the difference between the vote for that candidate and for a winning candidate for nomination or election is less than one-half of 1 percent of the total votes counted for that office.

Halliday said Skor could file a written recount request up to five days after the City Council meets as the canvassing board at 4:45 p.m. today to certify the election results.

Unofficial results placed challenger Tim Johnson first with 528 votes, Gardner second with 151 and Skor third with 150. The top two vote-getters will face off in the Nov. 4 general election. Gardner is seeking a second four-year term.

Halliday said the cost of the recount would be paid by the city.

"At this point, he requests it and the city pays for it,'' Halliday said Wednesday.

A call left by the Tribune on Skor's home answering machine was not returned Wednesday.