Candidate in Rogers County sheriff's race asks for partial recount
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Friday, June 29, 2012
CLAREMORE - A Rogers County sheriff’s candidate who lost Tuesday’s primary election by more than 24 percentage points has requested a partial recount, Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody said.
Dermody said Republican Cole Butler on Thursday petitioned for a hand recount of 11 of 36 precincts “to verify the accuracy of the machines.” Sheriff Scott Walton unofficially won a second term by getting 5,481 votes (63.18 percent) to Butler’s 3,194 (36.82).
The recount is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Dermody said. District Judge J. Dwayne Steidley will validate the security of the ballots and determine whether the recount will proceed, she said.
“I’m not alleging any mismanagement or certainly not any corruption,” Butler said today in a telephone interview. “But these are new machines and quite a few of my supporters were stymied that the results were the exact opposite from what we had heard was going to happen.”
Butler paid a $600 deposit for the recount of the first 3,000 ballots, documents show. He asked for recounts in precincts in Owasso, Claremore, Oologah, Catoosa, Foyil and Verdigris, Dermody said.
Tuesday’s election was a rematch of 2008, when Walton won by 8 percentage points.
“I welcome it,” Walton said of the recount. “I think it’s going to show it (Walton’s victory) loud and proud. As long as I’m on the winning end of this deal, which I am, I’m grateful to keep talking about it.”
Both Walton and Butler share ties with the Tulsa Police Department.
Butler, 54, of Foyil has spent 31 years in the patrol and detective division with TPD, where he also has spent 19 years as a senior crisis negotiator with the Special Operations Team.
Walton, 56, of Inola, had a 27-year career with the TPD before being elected Rogers County sheriff.