Recount planned for District 28 GOP primaryThe Republican primary race in District 28 will have to go to an automatic recount to see who will run for the North Dakota House of Representatives, according to the State Canvassing Board.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun
The Republican primary race in District 28 will have to go to an automatic recount to see who will run for the North Dakota House of Representatives, according to the State Canvassing Board.
Jim Silrum, North Dakota deputy secretary of state, said if the difference in vote totals between two candidates is less than 1 percent of the highest vote cast for a candidate for that office, an automatic recount is required.
“Almost every election promotes the possibility of a recount, especially in small cities for races like city offices,” Silrum said. “However, the fact that it’s happening in a legislative district primary is certainly not unprecedented.”
Ballots cast in six counties — Dickey, McIntosh, LaMoure, Logan, Burleigh and Emmons — will now be recounted beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. and continuing until Monday at 2 p.m.
Republican voters in the June 12 primary election ballot were asked to vote for two out of four candidates for the District 28 Republican nomination. The top two vote-getters will run against the top two District 28 Democratic vote-getters during the Nov. 6 general election.
The top Republican vote-getter was incumbent Rep. Michael Brandenburg, R-Edgeley, with 2,046 votes (33.4 percent). However, because the race for the next-highest vote-getter was less than 1 percent (20 votes) of Brandenburg’s total number of votes received, an automatic recount of all ballots cast will be completed.
Rep. William Kretschmar, R-Venturia, is seeking re-election to one of the two District 28 seats as well. According to the unofficial results, Kretschmar received 1,462 votes (23.9 percent).
That was slightly ahead of third-leading vote-getter Jeffery Magrum, who received 1,443 votes (23.6 percent), or 19 fewer votes.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Magrum, a Hazelton, N.D., resident and former mayor. “I just don’t know where the change in votes could possibly come from unless the machines made a mistake. This should be a good chance to see if the machines really are accurate.”
Attempts to reach Kretschmar for comment were unsuccessful.
The recount of the ballots cast in the Republican District 28 House race will take place on the following days:
* Thursday — Dickey County, 9 a.m.; McIntosh County, 2 p.m.
* Friday — LaMoure County, 9 a.m.; Logan County, 2 p.m.
* Monday — Burleigh County, 9 a.m.; Emmons County, 2 p.m.
Silrum said recount results would not be official until they are reviewed by the State Canvassing Board at its July 6 meeting.
On the Democratic side, Joan Hoffman and Austin Wald were the only two candidates for their party’s nomination and will advance to the general election on Nov. 6.
The top two vote-getters in the general election will take the two District 28 House seats.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org