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Coltrain will not request recount in commissioner race

With only 103 votes between him and third place, unaffiliated candidate Raymond Coltrain announced Wednesday that he would not request a recount in the race for Rowan County commissioner.

On election night, Coltrain came in fourth in the race for three seats, trailing Republican Judy Klusman by just 76 votes. The Rowan County Board of Elections on Monday counted 191 remaining ballots — absentee and provisional — which extended Klusman’s lead to 103.

The 103-vote margin, the closest in a commissioners’ race since 1998, still fell within the percentage allowing for Coltrain to request a recount. The deadline for a recount request is Monday, Nov. 17, but Coltrain said Wednesday he had already made a decision.

“I’ve decided that I will not request a recount, as much as I don’t like making that decision because of all of my supporters that in many ways deserve all possible efforts,” he said. “In talking with everybody I have talked to, the probability of the computers making that size of a mistake are pretty slim.”

Coltrain said he hasn’t made a decision on whether he would apply for any citizen boards or have a role in Rowan County politics over the next four years.

Coltrain’s decision effectively solidifies the new Rowan County Board of Commissioners, though the Board of Elections still needs to certify Rowan County’s vote on Friday.

Coltrain added that he thought a reason for his unsuccessful commissioner bid was the strength of the Republican Party in Rowan County. Even though straight ticket voting wasn’t in effect for the 2014 election, Coltrain said he noticed voters at the multiple precincts he visited taking a longer period of time to vote for the “correct person” or Republican candidates.

On Dec. 1, new members of the  Rowan County Board of Commissioners will  be sworn in. The board will be entirely composed of Republicans, as it was before the election.

The new board will be Mike Caskey, Greg Edds, Jim Greene, Klusman and Craig Pierce.

Greene and Edds ran away with first and second place by a large margin, receiving 19,553 and 18,152  votes, respectively. Including the additional provisional and absentee ballots, Klusman came in third with 13,062 votes and Coltrain received 12,959.

The current board of commissioners will meet for the last time on Monday, which marks the end of terms for Jon Barber, Chad Mitchell and Chairman Jim Sides.

The new board will vote on a chairman after terms begin.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-7907-4246.

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