116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
After a recount of Nov. 2 ballots this week, current Marion City Council member Randy Strnad has won re-election for his at-large seat.
In the recount, three votes separate the incumbent from challenger Dale Monroe, 3,249 to 3,246. The results are unofficial until certified by the Linn County Board of Supervisors.
Strnad told The Gazette on Thursday that he was overwhelmed with joy.
“Over the last few days, we’ve been kept wondering about this back- and-forth race,” Strnad said. “Now it’s a three-vote difference. People need to understand that everyone’s vote does count.”
Strnad said he is looking forward to the upcoming budget season and the arrival of new Marion City Manager Ryan Waller later this month.
“I’m very grateful for people who came out and voted for myself, allowing me to serve four more years for Marion,” Strnad said.
The three-member recount board spent almost 18 hours this week hand-counting ballots, finishing Thursday afternoon. Before the recount, the two candidates were deadlocked at 3,244 votes each.
Doing the counting were Bob Nielly, designated by Monroe; Frank Sherman, designated by Strnad; and Grant Harper, agreed upon by both candidates.
Monroe, 70, a retired educator, told The Gazette that he is willing to accept the results.
“It’s unusual for someone to unseat an incumbent so I feel really good about the campaign I ran,” Monroe said. “My congratulations to Randy. … I’ll keep busy, there’s no question. I’m supportive of Marion.”.
Initially, Strnad, 52, an insurance agent, was down by one vote after the Nov. 2 election — 3,236 to 3,237. But after the official vote canvass, which included provisional ballots, Strnad pulled ahead by one vote — 3,244 to 3,243.
But then, the auditor’s office discovered a write-in vote for Monroe — someone wrote in his name on a ballot rather than checking the box beside his name — leaving both candidates with 3,244 votes.
Linn County Auditor Joel Miller said it’s been an unusual election cycle with recounts in Marion, Prairieburg and Fairfax. Fairfax’s recount for its mayoral race begins next week. Plus, there’s the Cedar Rapids mayoral runoff election on Nov. 30.
“It’s been a never-ending election cycle,” Miller said. “It just keeps going.”
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