Cecil "J.R." Fisher has filed a lawsuit, challenging the Goodman mayoral race results and calling for an official recount.
In a lawsuit e-filed on Saturday by his attorney, William G. Weber, Fisher says the total count of votes doesn't add up. The lawsuit claims that 13 votes for him were not counted and "discarded for unknown reasons."
Fisher, a write-in candidate, and incumbent Greg Richmond faced off in the mayoral election that took place April 2.
Fisher is suing Richmond, who has served as Goodman mayor for several years.
According to the lawsuit, "Contestant states that there are issues of validity with the votes casted, specifically that votes were cast for him that were not counted because of the way they were cast and RSMO Chapter 115 requires that the votes be recounted 'if the validity of a number of votes equal to or greater than the margin of defeat is placed in doubt.'"
McDonald County Circuit Clerk Tanya Lewis said Weber e-filed the lawsuit on Saturday, May 4. The attorney will have the lawsuit's papers served on Richmond, Lewis said, and Richmond will then have 30 days to respond with an answer. No court date has been set yet, Lewis said.
Richmond was sworn as Goodman mayor on April 16 during a city council meeting after city attorney Duane Cooper reviewed the county's certified election results.
Goodman city clerk Karla McNorton read the results, then handed them to Cooper. Tallies showed that Richmond received 49 votes, to Fisher's 47 votes with one other write-in vote that said, "Fisher."
Fisher brought different election results to the meeting that were one more in his favor, but Cooper said results read by McNorton were verified votes sent by the county to the city, all overseen and signed by County Clerk Kim Bell. Any challenge to the vote would have to be made to the county, not the city, Cooper said.
In a previous interview, Bell said her office holds the election, certifies the election results and then sends the certification letter to each party. If Fisher decides to contest the results, he will have to petition the circuit court, she said.
Richmond said the lawsuit has named him as the defendant, but he didn't play a role in the ballot counting process.
"I did not do the count, so I have no reason to recount," Richmond said. "My only involvement in the election was I signed up to run ... and I voted. That is my total involvement in the election. That is all I have to say. If he wants a recount, sue the county, not me."
General News on 05/09/2019
Print Headline: Write-In Mayoral Candidate Files Suit, Calls For Official Recount