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For Medical Lake City Council candidate, recount confirms defeat and comes with hefty price

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 6, 2017, 9:35 p.m.

Former Medical Lake Police Chief Tony Harbolt, left, won a City Council race against retired attorney Don Kennedy, as confirmed by a ballot recount completed Wednesday. (Courtesy photos)
Former Medical Lake Police Chief Tony Harbolt, left, won a City Council race against retired attorney Don Kennedy, as confirmed by a ballot recount completed Wednesday. (Courtesy photos)

A man who ran for the Medical Lake City Council this year will have to pay about $1,000 for a ballot recount that confirmed he lost the race.

Donald Kennedy, a retired attorney, requested the hand recount after initial results in November showed he was defeated by 15 votes.

County Auditor Vicky Dalton said the recount, completed Wednesday, showed the same number of votes for each candidate as the initial count showed – 465 for Kennedy and 480 for Tony Harbolt, a safety manager at the Airway Heights Corrections Center.

The vote margin was larger than half a percentage point, so no recount was automatically triggered under state law. Dalton said her office is still tallying the number of staff hours it took to retrieve the ballots from storage and recount them, but she estimated Kennedy’s tab will be about $1,000.

Kennedy didn’t immediately respond to a phone call Wednesday.

But Harbolt said he, too, would have requested a recount if the vote totals were reversed.

“That’s a pretty slim margin,” he said.

Now a councilman, Harbolt added, “I’m glad it’s over and ready to move on with city business.”