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Winningham won't ask for a recount

Posted: May 21, 2014 - 5:43pm

Joe Don Winningham will not be asking for a recount in one of the closest judicial elections in recent memory.

“The election is what it is,” Winningham said on Wednesday, “and I lost fair and square. I’ve already congratulated my opponent, so…” 

“I’m not a recount kind of guy,” he also said.

Deputy Prosecutor Troy Braswell won by 83 votes, according to unofficial votes. This is in a race where 16,751 votes were cast in more than 100 voting precincts spread over three counties.

The gap between victory and defeat in this race was slightly less than half of one percent.

The last time a judicial race was so close was in 2002, when Former Circuit Judge Mike Maggio won by about 60 votes in his race against Frank Shaw.

“A close loss is always painful,” Shaw said on Wednesday. “However, it’s worked out well for me. I’m satisfied with my position and station in life.”

Election commissioner James Bargar said on Wednesday that, as he understands it, “when we certify the vote, we’re essentially going to be doing a recount,”, so any discrepancies should be caught when the results are certified.

Also, the unofficial results show that in Faulkner County alone 827 people who turned out to vote for somebody didn’t cast a vote in the Braswell/Winningham election. These are counted as “under votes” in the county clerk’s tabulated result documents.

There were 820 under votes in the Byrd/Clark judicial election and 862 in the Chandler/Foster election — indicating that a similar number of voters didn’t know enough about the candidates to vote or didn’t have a preference between them. In the Brazil/Murphy election, there were 684 under votes.

Conway City Attorney Mike Murphy thanked the voters of Faulkner, Searcy and Van Buren counties who gave him his narrow victory over sitting Circuit Judge Amy Brazil in an email to media on Tuesday. “Even though we were the underdog in terms of money and institutional advantages, our volunteers worked hard in all three counties to get our message out. … I congratulate Amy Brazil and her family for a hard-fought campaign.”

In contrast, the Sheriff’s race had only 166 under votes. One way to interpret this is that many more people turned out to vote for the Sheriff election, which incumbent Andy Shock won handily, than they did for the judicial elections; and that among the judicial elections, the Brazil/Murphy race had the most attention. 

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Baylor
211
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Baylor 05/24/14 - 09:55 am
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Class Act

I think Joe Don Winningham lost alot of votes by representing former county administrator Jeff Johnston, who stole from the county. Looking back I bet he wishes he didn't do that. Regardless, I believe him to be a great and honorable man. I think Troy Braswell will do a great job

ucantbserious
30303
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ucantbserious 05/24/14 - 10:33 am
3
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Agreed

I don't know much about the man but not asking for a recount speaks volumes. They are few things as annoying as a sore loser.

And I bet if Mr. Winningham had requested a recount he would have done so prior to one minute before the deadline.

Raving Bear
631
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Raving Bear 05/25/14 - 10:55 am
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Baylor

I think the chances of Braswell doing a great job are pretty slim... just look at the way he's left the family of officer McGary hanging so he could pursue his political ambitions. Looks lie we've replaced Maggio with Maggio v2.0 even down to taking money from Morton.

357
1796
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357 05/25/14 - 03:30 pm
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How does anything having to

How does anything having to do with the unfortunate situation with Officer McGary turn out to be Braswell's fault?

Raving Bear
631
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Raving Bear 05/25/14 - 09:16 pm
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He is the lead prosecutor and

He is the lead prosecutor and basically abandoned the case to pursue his political ambitions. You're more than free to go look at the timing of the case on court connect. His performance has been a sad joke.

libertas
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libertas 05/27/14 - 08:29 pm
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A huge loss .....

You are correct raving bear, he is Hiland's lackey. Joe Don would have brought much needed judicial integrity
to the bench without political debts to be paid. Now we have more of the same in all three just elected
with one holding onto Pandora's box for dear life.

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