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Sigee withdrawing recount request

BEAUMONT - KFDM News has learned Thomas Sigee is submitting a letter to the county in which he is withdrawing his request for a recount in the Jefferson County Tax Assessor-Collector's race.

Watch KFDM News at 6 for reaction.

Sigee told KFDM News he worked with his attorney until late Tuesday on the language of a formal letter to the county. He is asking for the return of his $11,000 deposit for the recount.

He lost to incumbent Shane Howard by only 16 votes in a race where each candidate drew more than 43,000 votes.

It's perhaps the closest race in Jefferson County history, according to the County Clerk's Office. 

Sigee filed for a recount last Friday. It would have been done Monday, November 26. Sigee asked for an electronic recount in his request but then contacted County Judge Jeff Branick and asked for a hand recount. Branick says that request came too late.

"Without a doubt, if there were any mistakes it would have been by paper ballot," Sigee told KFDM News Tuesday afternoon. "I would have been more likely to gain votes through paper recounting than electronic."

Sigee said he asked for the recount after talking with longtime supporters. He says those who backed him will understand why he's withdrawing the request for a recount.

"I think anyone would look at this and agree this is the right thing to do."

He continues his longtime job as the Collections Officer in the County Auditor's Office and isn't sure he'd run again for Tax Assessor, after having competed in 2010 and this year. 

"It would take some serious consideration to do it again," Sigee told KFDM News. "It's exhausting-emotionally, financially and on your family. I never say never but I'd be hard-pressed to do it again. But I never say never because you never know what tomorrow brings. I'm happy with my job and the County."   


(Earlier story) BEAUMONT - by Scott Lawrence - A committee will recount the votes Monday, November 26 in the Jefferson County Tax Assessor-Collector's race.

Initially county leaders said the recount would take place Wednesday but two MIS employees that handle the electronic voting machines are on vacation this week, according to County Judge Jeff Branick.

Thomas Sigee filed a petition Friday asking for a recount.

Sigee said he and his wife contributed a majority of the $11,000 deposit for the recount. Donors gave him the rest.

16 votes separated Sigee from incumbent Shane Howard.

Judge Branick said he appointed 11 people to oversee the electronic recount, including County Clerk Carolyn Guidry. The candidates and party chairmen can also attend.

According to Branick, Sigee turned in the deposit to the County Treasurer on Friday. He'll get back whatever's left once the cost of the recount, including salaries for the workers, is deducted.

Branick told us it's his understanding the recount should take 4-6 hours.

Branick told KFDM News that on Friday Sigee asked for an electronic recount but Sunday night sent an email asking for a hand recount.

Branick said he checked with the Texas Secretary of State's office and was told Sigee was too late in asking for the hand recount.

Sigee withdrawing recount request

Tuesday, November 20 2012, 07:46 PM CST
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