A recount of votes in the race for Hoover City Council Place 6 today confirmed Casey Middlebrooks as the winner over Jason DeLuca by five votes out of 12,421 votes cast in that race on Aug. 23.
After five hours of running 13,801 ballots through voting machines again, there were no changes at all in the vote totals, Hoover City Clerk Margie Handley said.
Middlebrooks, a librarian from Spain Park High School, received 6,213 votes, compared to 6,208 for DeLuca, who manages the Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel in Inverness.
DeLuca requested the recount on Wednesday because the race was so close and will have to pay $3,800 for it. But he said today he accepts the outcome.
“A close race doesn’t mean the outcome wasn’t accurate,” he said.
On one hand, he wishes the recount would have changed the results, but “I think what it shows is that voters can be pretty confident in those machines and of what those poll workers and the city do to provide accurate elections.”
DeLuca said the city will be in good shape with Middlebrooks and the new City Council that will take office Nov. 7.
“I’m certainly happy for Casey. I’ve offered my support any way I can in the next four years,” he said. “I’m happy to help.”
Middlebrooks said he was relieved there was no change in the vote count but not surprised.
Handley said she wasn’t really surprised either.
“I had pretty good faith in those machines. Those are new machines,” she said. “They’re just very accurate.”
While the new four-year term doesn’t begin until Nov. 7, current Hoover City Council President Jack Wright said the council likely will go ahead and appoint Middlebrooks on Tuesday to fill the Place 6 seat on the council, which has been vacant since Brian Skelton’s death on July 2.
The council was supposed to fill the seat within 60 days, Wright said. The council instead chose to wait to see whom voters would choose to fill the seat.
“The people have spoken,” Wright said. “I just think it’s the right thing to do.”
Middlebrooks said he is grateful for the chance to serve the city. “I’m ready, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Hoover Municipal Judge Brad Bishop will be at the City Council meeting Tuesday to install him if the council follows through with the appointment, Middlebrooks said. He will be sworn in again with the other council members for the new four-year term on Nov. 7, he said.