At the request of state representative candidate Elizabeth Webster, the Cobb County Board of Elections recounted ballots in the Democratic primary election for House District 35 on June 29.
The recount showed a change in two votes, but did not alter the final outcome for the three Democratic candidates.
“The ranking of candidates did not change,” Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler said in an email to the candidates.
Webster failed to qualify for a runoff after she placed third in the initial tally, trailing Kyle Rinaudo and Lisa Campbell in the Democratic primary for state Rep. Ed Setzler’s seat. Campbell led the primary with 2,751 votes, good for more than 40% of the vote, but not enough support to avoid a runoff.
Rinaudo, with 2,033 votes, initially led Webster by 19 votes, a difference of 0.28%. When votes are within one-half of 1%, losing candidates can request a recount.
Following last month’s recount, Rinaudo’s total dropped by two votes from 2,033 to 2,031, but totals for Campbell and Webster did not change. Rinaudo, with a 17-vote lead over Webster, qualified for the runoff with Campbell. The primary runoff election will be Aug. 11, and the winner will face off with Setzler in the Nov. 3 general election. Setzler has held the seat representing parts of northern Cobb County since 2005.
After receiving the results of the recount, Webster said she would run as a write-in candidate in November’s general election.
“Voters in House District 35 deserve a better choice than a woman who has trouble verbalizing what inequality is, who has only lived in the House District for 3 years and boasts an Instagram job description and a 24-year-old man with no meaningful experience and is running because he feels it will boost his law school application,” Webster said in a statement to the MDJ.
Rinaudo, who is already enrolled in law school, said there is no need to worry about any more school applications.
“I know it seems strange at first that someone of my age would decide to run for office, but frankly that’s precisely why I think it’s so important,” Rinaudo said in a statement to the MDJ. “We need our generation’s voice in local government as we work to address our community’s pressing issues for the coming decades, from climate change to education access to affordable healthcare.”
Rinaudo, who lost a bid for the same seat in the 2018 Democratic primary, said he is glad the recount has concluded. He hopes “all Democrats and Progressives will unite behind the eventual Democratic nominee.”
“This year, it’s so important we elect new, progressive leadership for House District 35 in order to expand access to health care, invest in public schools, and protect equal rights, civil rights, and voting rights for everyone in our community—all issues on which our current representatives have failed to lead,” Rinaudo wrote in an earlier statement. “For that reason, my team and I are excited for the chance to continue our work to offer better representation this November.”
When asked if she’d like to respond to Webster’s comments, Campbell sent the following statement to the MDJ:
“We are excited to have earned 40% of the vote in the primary, and look forward to ongoing work to get the vote out for the runoff on August 11th. Constituents in HD 35 are telling us they want an experienced leader who will listen and represent their views with sound judgement and integrity. A long time Georgian, I bring more than 30 years of executive experience leading diverse teams and building coalitions to solve complex problems. Working together, our team will be focused on championing important issues including expanding healthcare, restoring women’s reproductive rights, empowering educators, protecting voting rights, social justice reform, increasing gun safety and creating an inclusive economy.”