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Brouse still winning race but Pearson says he'll ask for recount

Tight race gets even tighter after updated numbers released


(This updates an earlier version of this story.)

BrouseRenee Brouse has maintained her lead in the race for Sherwood City Council, effectively winning the race amid an expected recount request by her challenger.

On May 27, eight days after the election, Renee Brouse was still ahead, this time by 13 votes, against challenger Alan Pearson. As of 3:30 p.m., Brouse had 1,001 votes; Pearson had 988.

“I am going to demand a recount,” Pearson said shortly after the numbers were posted. “A 13-vote difference certainly warrants a recount.”

Contacted Tuesday, Brouse said she is “still happy and pleased to serve the community.”

PearsonMeanwhile, Pearson said he will personally pick up the tab for the recount, which he is required to file for before June 8.

Early polls during the May 19 election night showed Pearson leading by 17 votes, but those numbers had reversed by the following morning with Brouse taking the lead by 15 votes.

On May 22, updated figures still had Brouse leading, this time by 11 votes.

Mickie Kawai, elections manager for the Washington County Elections Division, said on Tuesday that there were about 20 ballots from Sherwood voters with signature verification issues. That means either the signatures did not match voter registration forms on file at the county or that voters failed to sign the ballot at all. Voters officially have until June 2 to resolve those issues.

Kawai said that if the margin between the two candidates was 1/5 of 1 percent, or four votes in this case, the county would pay for the recount.

Contacted Tuesday, Brouse said she is “still happy and pleased to serve the community.”

Brouse is executive director of the Sherwood YMCA. The facility made headlines last year after a Lake Oswego accounting firm claimed that the nearly 20-year-old contract between the YMCA and the city was poorly written, leading to differing opinions about how the facility should be maintained.

Former Mayor Bill Middleton and current Mayor Krisanna Clark previously have called for the contract to be renegotiated

Pearson is a retired associate professor of political science. The three-way race also included Ivonne Gebhardt, a senior designer in mechanical engineering, who had collected 198 votes as of the May 27 update.

Pearson said he was disappointed by the low voter turnout from the election.

“I don’t think Sherwood takes it seriously enough,” he said. “I don’t think Sherwood City Council is a high school election.”

Sherwood’s race is the latest in several recent elections to fill the City Council. The city held a special election in March to fill an empty city council seat; that race was won by Dan King.

It also held city council elections last November.

(Sherwood Gazette editor Ray Pitz also contributed to this report.)

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