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    5th District Hand Recount Completed & Schipske Extends Her Lead Over Kell, Outpolling Her By 247 Votes

    (June 30, 2006, updated) -- At the end of a June 28-29 hand recount of ballots in the 5th Council district race, the City Clerk's office says attorney Gerrie Schipske has outpolled incumbent Vice Mayor/Councilwoman Jackie Kell by an even larger margin than previously indicated in the machine 247 votes (not 169 as the count appeared prior to the hand recount).

    Following the hand-recount, Councilwoman-elect Schipske told "I won...again." (Photo above shows Ms. Schipske at the June 20 machine count.)

    The City Clerk's hand recount (requested by Kell with money advanced by her) left Schipske with 5,662 (51.1%) and Kell with 5,415 (48.9%). 140 ballots had Kell's name written-in but with the candidate choice bubble not filled in and under state law were not counted for Kell. Filling in the candidate choice bubble is required for all races, not just write-ins.

    In a release, Councilwoman-elect Schipske said, "I am putting my Council district staff team together. I look forward to working with the outgoing Councilmember, Kell, in a smooth transition so that I can be ready to serve the people of the 5th Council District as quickly as possible." Schipske is scheduled to be sworn in at the July 18 City Council meeting.

    Two-term Councilwoman Kell (vice-Mayor for the past two years) ran a write-in campaign to retain office under term limits.

    [updated] Councilwoman Jackie Kell's lawyer indicates they're awaiting additional numbers expected from the City Clerk's office today (Friday June 30) showing the breakdown of challenges and the number of ballots in categories beyond the 140 ballots not counted for her with her name written in but without the candidate choice bubble filled in.

    Check with during the day for the latest developments as we learn them.

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