06 Dec Zepeda Beats Butt in Game of Chance Tiebreaker to Win Council Seat
(Image courtesy of the city of Richmond)
By Tony Hicks
Bay City News Foundation
The luck of the draw was with Cesar Zepeda on Tuesday morning.
To break a tie in last month’s election to represent District 2 on the Richmond City Council, Zepeda won in a drawing of sealed envelopes Tuesday morning in the council chambers.
Weeks after Election Night, Zepeda was tied with Andrew Butt, the son of Mayor Tom Butt. Both finished with 1,921 votes when the counting was done last week. Butt held the early lead on election night and during ensuing weeks, but Zepeda closed the gap just before the final count.
While the Contra Costa County Elections Department does the counting, the city of Richmond retains the right to break any ties through a “game of chance,” which is allowed by state election code.
The city chose to put both candidates’ names in random, sealed envelopes. Zepeda’s was the chosen one.
The final count concluded Thursday after 11 ballots were added to the mix when voters fulfilled a county request to verify signatures. Nine of the votes were added in Richmond, as two voters didn’t fill out their choice for District 2.
The race was close enough to prompt county election officials to go back and recount votes by hand, as part of the required state audit of at least 1% of precincts.
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