Recount ends with Shannon Reid winning Democratic primary for Douglas County Commission 2nd District seat

photo by: contributed photo

Shannon Reid

UPDATED 7:49 P.M.TUESDAY

With a hand recount of votes finished, Democratic candidate Shannon Reid has won the primary for the Douglas County Commission’s 2nd District seat by just three votes.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said in an email to the Journal-World the recount was finished Tuesday afternoon with Reid beating incumbent County Commissioner Nancy Thellman. The recounted vote tally gave Reid 2,348 votes, Thellman 2,345 votes and third candidate Sara Taliaferro 1,544 votes. Prior to the recount, Reid had held a lead of five votes.

With that close margin, Thellman had requested a hand recount on Monday after the vote tally was certified by the Douglas County Commission during a special meeting to canvass the Aug. 4 primary election results. During the canvassing, about 570 provisional ballots were added to the overall county vote count, which allowed Reid to come from behind to win. At the end of the night on Aug. 4, Reid was behind by 117 votes, but those totals did not include ballots that were cast by election day but had not yet arrived via the mail.

Reached by text message Tuesday evening, Thellman said she was conceding the race. She noted she had sent Reid a message congratulating her on winning the election.

On Monday, Thellman said she requested a recount because of how close the results were, calling it “the last necessary step in a really important democratic process.”

Reid, who specifically challenged Thellman because of her previous support of a controversial Douglas County Jail expansion project, said on Monday she believed the results show that a majority of the Democratic voters in the 2nd District are looking for new leadership.

As the winner of the Democratic Primary, Reid was expected to become the next commissioner for the 2nd District because Republican Brett LaRue, who will appear on the November general election ballot for the seat, previously told the Journal-World that he was not actively campaigning. He also endorsed Thellman in the race.

However, when reached by text message Monday, LaRue said that he would need to research Reid’s stance on issues before making a decision on whether he would remain inactive.

“I need to do some more research into Ms. Reid and her ideas, and if they don’t coincide with what I believe is best for Douglas County, then I will likely resume campaigning,” LaRue said in the text message.

The 2nd District represents the eastern portion of Douglas County, including Baldwin City, Eudora and a portion of Lawrence.

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