Franklin County Commissioner Bob Koch won a fourth term in office after the race went to an automatic recount this week.
The Franklin County Elections Department conducted a hand recount and declared Koch the victor by just 13 votes Friday.
Results of the Nov. 8 election were certified Friday. Koch received 10,104 votes and Mullen received 10,091.
Two of the commission’s three seats were up for election this year. Commissioner Brad Peck easily prevailed over challenger Matt Beaton, the county’s current elected auditor. But the Koch-Mullen race was too close to call on election night.
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Every vote counts.
Jeff Burckhard, Franklin County deputy auditor
Koch’s slim lead narrowed as late ballots trickled in and the results were periodically updated.
On Nov. 28, when the final count was taken, Koch was leading by only 29 votes. Washington law mandates an automatic recount when the margin of victory is less than one half of 1 percent of the ballots cast.
The recount reduced it even further.
“That was pretty unbelievable,” said Koch, calling the results “pretty humbling.”
The recount was the largest for an elected office in Franklin County history.
“Every vote counts,” noted Jeff Burckhard, Franklin County’s chief deputy auditor.
Burckhard said there have been two recent elections that led to a tie. Both involved the tiny Kahlotus City Council and were resolved with coin tosses.