Vote recounted; Leach advances
Lana Leach of Lawrence held on to her victory in the 47th District House of Representatives primary race after a ballot recount requested last week by her opponent, Bruce Hanson.
The two Democratic candidates were deadlocked after the Aug. 1 primary with 348 votes each.
Leach pulled ahead of Hanson the following week after a canvas of the ballots gave her a four-vote lead. Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes explained an error on one ballot resulted in the challenge of 12 votes.
Leach received seven of the challenged votes while Hanson received three. A third candidate, Lisa Whitehair Carver of Ozawkie, received the remaining two votes.
Following the canvas, Hanson requested the ballots in Douglas County be recounted by hand.
The results of the recount were official last Friday with Leach gaining one additional vote. According to the Douglas County Clerk's office, both candidates were notified of the results on Friday.
Leach will move on to challenge Republican Lee Tafanelli in the November general election. The 47th District seat will be vacated by Republican Joann Flower of Oskaloosa.
Leach said Monday she wasn't sure what the final vote was, only that she had officially been named the winner.
"It all got so confusing," she said. "I'm just glad it's over. We've waited a long time to see who the winner would be."
With the primary race behind her, Leach said she would begin preparing for the general election in November.
"Since the primary, we were sort of left with a feeling of not knowing exactly what to do," she said. "We didn't want to start pushing forward until we knew for sure. Now that we do, we can start looking toward the next election."