Brewster County vote recount confirms Colando’s victory

BREWSTER COUNTY — A vote recount requested by a Brewster County Commissioners Court candidate has confirmed the initial outcome of the local election on November 8.

Mark Chiles, Republican candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 2, had lost to Democratic incumbent Sara Colando by a mere 13 votes, per the official election results approved by the county on November 22, which show Chiles with a total of 559 votes and Colando with a total of 572.

Unofficial election results released on November 8, which do not incorporate all mail-in ballots, had shown Colando with a total of 568 votes to Chiles’ 554.

At Chiles’ request, a recount was carried out on Saturday, December 3, and the results of the recount confirmed the official results — Chiles still has a tally of 559 to Colando’s 572.

Chiles, when reached for comment, praised the recount process — and pointed to an overall low voter turnout.

“I think the recount was handled very thoroughly and professionally and I accept the results,” wrote Chiles in an email. “I want to thank all of those that participated in the recount and congratulate the victor, Sara Colando. I want to commend all of those that voted and would like voters to know that in those two voting precincts 2 and 6, there was a turnout of just over 55% of registered voters. Meaning 900 or so, did not vote.”

Colando also commended the process, and said she was pleased with the results, which did not alter the initial outcome.

“I’m so pleased that the recount was completed without any changes to the results or outcomes,” wrote Colando. “It shows that Brewster County elections are safe and accurate, thanks to the hard work of our Elections Administrator, our many dedicated poll workers, and our Party Chairs. I commend Mr. Chiles for running a very honorable and hardworking campaign, and I look forward to continuing to serve the many and varied residents of Brewster County.”