Recount doesn't affect primary election result

Hayes concedes Lee BOE race to Williams
May. 22, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

The results of the Democratic primary for the Lee County Board of Education remain unchanged after a recount.

Richard Hayes, a former member of both the school board and the Lee County Board of Commissioners, narrowly lost out in the primary earlier this month to Shawn Williams, another former school board member running for a second stint on the board.

Hayes then called for a recount, but neither man's vote tally changed after officials convened Tuesday night to rescan all the ballots cast in the May 6 primary, in which 5,071 Lee County residents voted.

So Williams, along with Ophelia Livingston and Mark Akinosho, now are officially the Democratic Party's three candidates for the General Election in November.

"I want to congratulate the winning candidates," Hayes said in a statement conceding the loss. "They have my full support. I am confident they will be elected in November and that they will serve the new board of education with honor and dedication to their very important jobs of helping lead and strengthen public education in Lee County."

Hayes also thanked the Lee County Board of Elections for "due diligence in this election," when the vote tallies were so close. Elections Director Nancy Kimble said appeals could have stretched on even longer, but Hayes chose to accept this result and not call for a second recount done by hand instead of machine.

"So that's the ending of it," Kimble said, adding that a run-off election was not possible in this race. "Mr. Hayes has not asked to go any farther, so we are done."

The three Democrats will face Republican challengers C. Phillip Helms, Sandra Bowen and David Schau in the school board's first-ever partisan election. In November, the top three vote-getters of the six will win seats on the school board. The only incumbent in the group is Akinosho, the board's vice chairman who switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat earlier this year.

Akinosho also was the only person to see a change in votes from Tuesday's recount. He received one additional vote.