As of Tuesday Sept. 17, the official results of the Livingston County Sheriff’s election Republican primary held on Sept. 10 have been tallied and announced. According to The Livingston County News, criminal investigator Tom Dougherty won the primary with 3,942 votes to Undersheriff Jim Szczesniak’s 3,782 votes, a lead of 160 votes.
While it was announced last week that Szczesniak had taken the lead in the Conservative primary by one vote, it became a 159-to-159 tie as one of three affidavit ballots was considered valid, according to The Livingston County News.
“Our camp is still excited about the election because we have a lot to be excited about regarding the Republican line,” Dougherty said.
Due to the tie and lack of a single candidate chosen to represent the Conservative party, additional action now has to be taken, delaying the results of the primary furthermore.
“The decision now goes to the Conservative Chair Jason McGuire and his Conservative committee, who have until Friday to choose a candidate to represent the Conservative Party,” Dougherty said.
In order to expedite the election, McGuire could choose either Dougherty or Szczesniak to represent the Conservative Party in the general election on Nov. 5. McGuire also faces a third option.
As previously mentioned in the Sept. 12 issue of The Lamron, there had been a misdistribution of votes during the primary election.
The Livingston County News stated that these 59 votes are impossible to retrieve and recount due to the mechanics of voting programming. They also cannot be retrieved due to the constitutional right to a secret ballot.
But because of this misdistribution, Dougherty said that McGuire can take legal action and try to hold another primary election.
“Holding another election could take two to four weeks and could range from $20,000 to $30,000 at the taxpayers’ expense,” he said.
“I said I wouldn’t take legal action when I was losing the Conservative election because I didn’t want to have taxpayers pay [for another election]. That’s a huge amount of money for the taxpayers,” Dougherty said.
If the Conservative party chooses Szczesniak as its candidate, Szczesniak and Dougherty will be running against each other in the general election in November. If Dougherty is chosen, a general election will still be held and Dougherty will run uncontested.
“I hope people realize the value of a vote and that every vote truly counts,” Dougherty said. “Back-to-back years a primary election ended in a tie. People can say it was their vote that tied the race, and that would be true. I hope people realize this and that everyone votes in November.”