Final count in Oh/Taubenberger race begins Monday

With only 140 votes separating GOP at-large City Council candidates David Oh and Al Taubenberger so far, election officials said Wednesday that they would start their final count in the race Monday.

It's not clear how long the final accounting will take. Officials from the City Commissioners office said they are still tracking down 73 cartridges from Tuesday's polling places and also need to count absentee, overseas and military votes.

Both Oh, a lawyer who currently holds the lead over Taubenberger, came to the Commissioners' meeting at City Hall Wednesday.

Oh said he thought final results would not be available for at least a week. "It's just process and procedure," said Oh, who has said he is optimistic that he will win.

Taubenberger said he would monitor the count closely and has hired veteran elections lawyer Sam Stretton to represent him.

The City Council presidency could hang on the outcome of this race. Oh has not said who he would support if elected, but he is widely believed to be backing Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco. Taubenberger said he has not committed his vote yet but said he will not vote for anyone who participates in the city's Deferred Retirement Option Plan, better known as DROP. Tasco is in the DROP plan, but her biggest challenger in the race for Council presidency is Councilman Darrell Clarke, who is not in DROP. Councilman Jim Kenney is a dark-horse candidate for the presidency, and he is not in DROP, either.

So far, 96.32 percent of votes have been counted, and Oh has 37,990, while Taubenberger has 37,850.

Four years ago, Oh lost the council race to Jack Kelly in a hotly-contested race that involved a recount. Is history repeating itself?





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