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Recount cinches Miller's council win

A hand recount of ballots for a Medford City Council race has reaffirmed Chad Miller as the winner over incumbent Kay Brooks.

“Not a single vote changed,” said Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker. “It was exactly the same as it was before.”

The recount, conducted last week for the Medford Ward 3 council race, found Miller with a 28-vote lead against Brooks, the same lead as the Nov. 23 certified election results.

Because the race was so close, Brooks asked for a recount and agreed to pay for it.

Walker said her staff is still calculating how much the recount will cost.

The final results, also certified by the City Council two weeks ago, give Miller 2,338 votes to 2,310 for Brooks.

Chad McComas was in third place with 1,331 votes, and Don Libby was a distant fourth with 899.

Ward 3 encompasses the northwest area of Medford.

Brooks requested the recount Dec. 8, which was the deadline to request a recount.

On election night, Nov. 3, Miller was ahead by two votes in early counting. By the end of the night, his lead had increased to 25 votes.

Brooks has received donations to help pay for the recount.

The close race between Brooks and Miller didn’t initiate an automatic recount, which would have been called if the difference had been 10 or fewer votes, or 0.2%.

Unseating an incumbent is a rare occurrence in Medford.

Councilor Clay Bearnson avoided a recount in 2018 after expanding his lead against opponent Jim Herndon when the certified results were released.

In the other contested council races this election, there were no surprises when the final results were certified.

Former Medford police Chief Randy Sparacino easily won the mayor’s race by a sizable amount over his challengers, Jim Huddleston, Clay Bearnson and Kevin Stine.

Sarah Spansail won Ward 1 handily over opponents, Jeff Thomas, Curt Ankerberg and Rick Schreffler.

Tim D’Alessandro and Eric Stark both won reelection to Ward 2 and Ward 4, respectively, when they ran unopposed.

The new councilors and mayor will be sworn in Jan. 7.

Neither Miller nor Brooks could be reached for comment Monday.

Walker said her office also did a hand recount of 3% of the total ballots cast to verify the integrity of the automatic counting tally.

“There was not a single vote changed,” she said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @reporterdm.

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