City Council race ends in a tie – again

It’s official.

Following a hand recount of the Sweet Home City Council election ballots, the Nov. 4 council race has ended in a two-way tie for fourth place between incumbent Bruce Hobbs and James Goble, with a two-year term on the line.

The Linn County clerk completed the recount of the race Thursday, settling the race at 925 votes each.

The race is scheduled for a tie-breaker at a special City Council meeting on Dec. 16.

After initial counting, the two appeared tied at 916 votes. After challenged ballots and ballots dropped off in other counties were counted by Nov. 19, Goble appeared to have a 926-925 lead over Hobbs. A difference of less than one-fifth of 1 percent automatically triggered a recount.

Finishing ahead of the two after the recount were Jeffrey D. Goodwin with 938 votes, Ryan J. Underwood with 1,156 votes and incumbent Greg Mahler with 1,303 votes.

Anay Hausner finished sixth with 753 votes, and Aaron Pye finished seventh with 543 votes.

Sweet Home residents were able to vote for four candidates of a total of seven.

The election had 20 over votes, ballots with more than four candidates selected. It contained 127 write-in votes and 3,914 under votes, ballots with fewer than four candidates selected.

The three candidates receiving the most votes serve four-year terms. The fourth-place candidate serves a two-year term.

County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller certified the recount on Thursday.

“This certification reflects a decrease of one vote for James J. Goble,” said Supervisor of Elections Derrick Sterling. “This decrease is the result of a ballot judged by the recount board to contain an inadvertent mark that was not identified and corrected by the ballot inspection board previous to the original count.”

Based on the City Charter, the race between Hobbs and Goble will be decided by chance, by cutting a deck of cards, coin toss, drawing names or similar mechanism.

The City Council is scheduled to meet in a special session at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 to canvas the results of the election and break the tie by lot.