December 5 – Republican Jim Root has announced plans to file a formal Notice of Contest and pursue civil action in the disputed Macon County Sheriff’s election.
Root issued a media release Wednesday announcing his intentions, noting “it appears an adversarial lawsuit is imminent.”
Democrat Tony Brown, who was sworn in as Sheriff on Friday, was “very busy” working in his office and declined to comment.
Brown was declared the winner after certified results gave him a one-vote victory over the Root, who held a 99-vote advantage in final preliminary results on election night. Root then formally requested a discovery count, which discovered two uncounted votes for the Republican.
In his statement Wednesday, Root said he asked Brown to join him in taking the steps for a complete hand recount of all legal ballots to determine the true winner, adding that he was prepared to cover all costs.
Root said that Brown intends to oppose a full hand count and that the lawsuit will generate “all the acrimony, costs and delay that follows.”
His statement also says he is “disappointed in Mr. Brown’s response to my invitation to assure legitimacy.”
The statement continued, “Undeniably, the process has been corrupted by errors of the election authority, not by either candidate. … Tony and I both fought hard to secure election. If the roles were reversed, I would not be comfortable hiding behind a one-vote, flawed technical victory.”
In his conclusion, Root said he “cannot walk away from the matter” and that lawyers will now decide what happens next in regard to a recount.
“I do not believe that is what the public wants,” he said.