Recount planned in 32nd District, 45th race still in question
Walworth County will recount nearly 7,000 votes to determine whether there’s any change in the paper-thin gap between the two leaders in the 32nd Assembly primary.
Tyler August filed the paperwork Monday in Madison, almost a week after losing to fellow Republican Adam Gibbs 1,761 votes to 1,757.
The recount begins this morning in Walworth County and could last several days.
In the 45th Assembly race, Republican Jeff Klett still has not filed for a recount. He has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to do so, Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler said.
August on Monday expressed his desire to have a swift resolution in the Assembly race. After the primary, he said he would wait until the Walworth and Kenosha county canvassing boards adjourn to make a decision on a recount.
“If I come out on top, I want to be able to continue my campaign,” August said. “And I certainly don’t want to derail Adam’s if he stays ahead of me.”
August said he was overwhelmed with phone calls and text messages from friends and supporters asking him to challenge the outcome.
Walworth County Clerk Kim Bushey last week said as many as 11 absentee ballots might still be uncounted. They have until today to arrive at her office.
The 32nd District includes southern Walworth County and Wheatland in Kenosha County, where August led Gibbs 67 votes to 58.
Gibbs, August, Mel Nieuwenhuis, Thomas Stelling, Dan Necci and John Finley were running to replace Rep. Thomas Lothian, R-Williams Bay, who will not seek re-election.
Nieuwenhuis, mayor of Delavan, finished third with 1,641 votes.
The Republican nominee will face Doug Harrod of Genoa City in November’s general election. Harrod was the only Democrat to file in the race.
The ticket also will have two independent candidates: Rick Pappas of Fontana and Daniel Kilkenny of Delavan.
Klett of Beloit has said he “100 percent would” file for a recount in the 45th Assembly race if the number of votes didn’t change when they were certified.
Klett last week lost by 19 votes in a three-way Republican primary. Amy Loudenbeck of Clinton Township won the primary with 1,655 votes.
If Klett does file, the recount of the Rock County portion of the votes will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday, Stottler said.
After the recount, the winner will go on to face Democrat Roger Anclam of Turtle Township in the race to replace Chuck Benedict in the district that includes the city of Beloit, a slice of the east side of the city of Janesville and the rural communities on the east side of Rock County. It also includes Richmond Township in Walworth County.
Klett won in Rock County. However, Loudenbeck beat him 153-44 in Richmond Township.
The Gazette has been unable to reach the Walworth County Clerk’s Office for comment on recount plans.
Stottler has said she would offer to help recount the votes from Walworth County.