By Kathi Bliss
After a Primary election plagued with scheduling problems and ballot questions, two candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Caldwell County Judge will finally square off in May to determine who will face Republican nominee Kenneth Schawe for the County’s top job in November.
With provisional ballots, including several that were not returned to the Elections Office until Monday morning, counted on Tuesday, the final tally of votes for the race stood with Fermin Islas totalling 1,007 votes, to Paul Gomez’s 590 and James “Jimmy” Bertram’s 585.
According to Election Administrator Pamela Ohlendorf, Bertram does not intend to request a recount, and has conceded his spot in the race to Gomez, who will be involved in a runoff election against Islas on May 27, 2014.
All told, an additional 26 ballots were added to the final tallies when the provisional numbers were added.
Numbers were not collected as to how those provisional numbers affected the race for Caldwell County District Attorney, as the number of provisional ballots was not sufficient to make a change in Fred Weber’s resounding victory over Richard Banks in that race. The race between Bertram and Gomez, however, was too close to call without the provisional ballots.
Ohlendorf and her staff are already preparing for the May 27 runoff, reminding voters that the first day to request a ballot by mail is March 28, and the last day to register to vote will be April 28. All applications for ballots by mail must be received by May 16, 2014.
Early voting for the runoff election will be held from May 19 – May 23, and polls will be open on Election Day, May 27, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Watch future editions of the Post-Register for additional information on Runoff Election polling locations and times as the details develop.