But a recount Friday requested by independent candidate Craig Dodd that resulted in raising Republican Lori Lalouette-Crawford?s margin of victory from one vote to three prompted mixed emotions for the victor.
?Having such a close race was unexpected and did illicit mixed emotions, as I have never heard of such a close race before,? Lalouette-Crawford said Monday.
?I haven?t personally been involved in a recount before. I only had information from my brother-in-law (Marion County Sheriff) Rob Craft, when he was involved in a recount during his run for sheriff.?
She said picking up two extra votes?assuming they didn?t come from provisional ballots?means there could have been a tie on election night between the two candidates.
?(That) would have been an interesting outcome,? she said.
Dodd, who could not be reached for comment prior to deadline, requested the recount because of the one vote that separated him from Lalouette-Crawford.
Because of the uncertainty associated with the one-vote difference and recount, Lalouette-Crawford said it was a tense time between election day Nov. 4 and the completion of the recount Nov. 14.
?I would have liked to have a wider margin in the final numbers,? she said.
Lalouette-Crawford said she believes long voting lines in Hillsboro contributed to the close race.
?I heard reports of many people leaving the lines or not voting as they didn?t have enough time to wait to vote,? she said.
Lalouette-Crawford said she learned a lot during her first political campaign.
?Overall, the campaign took more time, and cost more than I initially anticipated,? she said.
Part of the expense was because she ran two campaigns?her write-in campaign for the primary election, followed by the general election. The signage and literature changed for each.
?The entire campaign was a learning experience,? she said.
From July through September she made campaign stops at Peabody?s Fourth of July event, the Marion County Fair, Goessel Threshing Days, Florence Labor Day and Marion?s Old Settlers Day.
?For the primary election, I had an informational booth at the Marion County Fair and gave away promotional items including pens, Post-it Notes and about 800 bottles of water with custom labels at the fair and parade.
Lalouette-Crawford also took part in the ?Trick or Treat Main Street? at Hillsboro.
?Throughout the campaign, I met and connected with new individuals and gained valuable knowledge and insight from them,? she said. ?I would have not have had the opportunity to do so outside the campaign and election, which is something I am very grateful for.?
She said the experience was positive.
?I believe I ran a clean campaign and maintained my professionalism and integrity at all times,? she said. ?If I had lost the election, I would have been disappointed, but I would have been pleased with myself for sticking to my moral and ethical beliefs and values and not campaigning negatively.?
Lalouette-Crawford refuted allegations that she or someone from her campaign stole some of her opponent?s yard signs.
Lalouette-Crawford said she plains to keep her law office open full-time until she takes office in January. After that, she will work around her duties as the new commissioner.
?I want to give a special thanks to all those who worked with me, supported me and displayed my signs during my campaign and election,? she said. ?I am honored to serve as the new county commissioner for District 1.?
Lalouette-Crawford said the close election should remind people that every vote counts, and that all voters should vote and not assume their candidate will win.
?You never know for certain how wide of margin there will be in the election results, so make your vote count,? she said. ?Get to the polls, and stick out the long lines or take advantage of advance voting in coming years.?