Councilman denied 2d primary recount

Posted: July 13, 2014

A Gloucester County judge on Friday rejected a Monroe Township councilman's request for a second, manual recount in the June 3 Democratic primary.

Two-term Councilman Ron Garbowski lost his bid for reelection to newcomer Bob Heffner by five votes. Garbowski originally lost by six, but he gained a vote late last month during an initial recount of mail-in and provisional ballots.

Heffner's running mates - Bart McIlvaine and Cody Miller for the council, and mayoral candidate Councilman Daniel Teefy - also defeated Garbowski's team.

In a court filing, Garbowski asked Superior Court Judge Kevin T. Smith to grant the manual recount of mail-in ballots and to consider three ballots in his favor that he contended were likely not counted by machines because voters had "over-voted" and later marked their intended selections.

Smith denied the second recount during a Friday hearing. Garbowski has 45 days to appeal.

"I'm going to meet with my campaign people," Garbowski said. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do."

Those at the hearing said the judge rejected the recount because Garbowski could not prove that the additional votes he would need to tie with Heffner existed. He would still need two votes even if the judge approved the three Garbowski mentioned.

Garbowski said he believed the judge should have considered those votes separately from the hand recount. "There may be votes that were not counted because the machines" may have made a mistake, he said. "It's so close."

Three at-large seats on the seven-member council are on the ballot, in addition to the mayor's position.

Garbowski's running mates included Paul Craig and Brent Salvadori for the council, and mayoral candidate Councilman Bill Sebastian Jr.

Teefy said his team was ready to turn its attention to November. "The Democrats need to move forward," he said. "We'd like to have all the Democrats behind us."


afichera@philly.com

856-779-3917

@AJFichera

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