Photos courtesy of the candidates
DeLuca and Middlebrooks
Jason DeLuca, a candidate for Hoover City Council Place 6, at left, has requested a recount of election returns after losing by five votes to Casey Middlebrooks, at right.
Jason DeLuca, a candidate for Hoover City Council Place 6, today asked the Hoover city clerk’s office to recount the votes in his race, after losing by just five votes to Casey Middlebrooks on Aug. 23.
DeLuca, a Green Valley resident who manages the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Inverness, said it wasn’t an easy decision to ask for the recount, but having a five-vote split out of more than 12,400 votes cast leaves enough chance there could have been a mistake in the vote tallies.
“I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a second look,” DeLuca said. “The last thing I want is to wonder 'what if?' for the next four years. We’ll respect the totals of whatever comes out of the recount.”
The recount will cost DeLuca about $3,800 if it confirms Middlebrooks as the winner, but the city will pick up the cost if the original election returns are found to be inaccurate and DeLuca is declared the winner, DeLuca said.
If he has to pay, he plans to use campaign money, plus a personal loan to his campaign, he said. But to him, it’s worth the investment, he said.
Election night returns showed Middlebrooks, a Ross Bridge resident who is a librarian at Spain Park High School, receiving 6,212 votes to DeLuca’s 6,203 votes — a difference of nine votes. But the boards of registrars for Jefferson and Shelby counties determined that six of 22 provisional ballots cast in the election should be legally counted. Provisional ballots are for people whose voter eligibility had to be confirmed.
Of those six provisional ballots, five votes were cast for DeLuca, and one was cast for Middlebrooks, so the final vote tally certified on Tuesday, Aug. 30, was 6,213 for Middebrooks and 6,208 for DeLuca — just a five-vote difference.
DeLuca said he never imagined the race would be that close. He said he has talked to Middlebrooks since the election and agreed to help him over the next four years in any way he can if Middlebrooks is confirmed as the winner.
“We’ve had a great relationship from the start,” DeLuca said. “This doesn’t change anything.”
Middlebrooks said he certainly understands DeLuca’s rationale.
“If I were in his place, I would probably do the same thing,” Middlebrooks said. “He called me and informed me of his decision. He just wants to remove all doubts and what ifs, and I respect that.”
The recount will begin at 7 a.m. Friday at the Hoover Municipal Center, City Clerk Margie Handley said. Based on estimates from Jefferson County, she is preparing to spend most of the day on the recount, she said.