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Smith Holds on With Four Vote Win in Recount


BRADENTON – After multiple recounts at the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office Thursday, Palmetto City Commissioner Charles Smith held on with a four-vote lead to defeat district 2 County Commissioner Michael Gallen in the Democratic primary that will ultimately decide the seat.

Winner Charles Smith (left) with BOCC Chair Larry Bustle

photo by John Rehill

Smith ended Tuesday night with only a five-vote lead, triggering an automatic recount. A machine recount Thursday cut the lead to four, and Gallen gained one more in the manual recount.

Finally, a last count of provisional ballots, which had to be cured by a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline, had Smith back at a 4-vote lead. As only a write-in candidate is eligible for the November election, Smith is all but certain to take the seat.

Troy Thomas filed to run as a write-in, but has not campaigned for the seat in any way and when contacted to discuss his candidacy in June, did not have any comment. Thomas was largely seen as a strategic entrant, used to close off what would have been an open primary, as no Republican had filed to run for the seat.

Ballots by precinct from Manatee County District 2 secured between recounts


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