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Runoff recount confirms Boff's win
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Julie Tressler asks a question of Gary J. Smith, Forsyth County's elections chief, during Tuesday's recount process. Tressler fell 30 votes shy of Jim Boff in their race for the District 5 seat on the Forsyth County commission. - photo by Jennifer Sami

A recount has confirmed the results of the Aug. 5 runoff election, with Jim Boff edging Julie Tressler by 30 votes for the District 5 seat on the Forsyth County commission.

Tressler asked for the recount last week, as the difference between the two candidates was within 1 percent of the vote.

In the end, Boff received 50.24 percent of the vote, compared to Tressler's 49.76 percent.

"I'm glad it's been reconfirmed exactly as expected," Boff said after the recount, which was held Tuesday morning at the county administration building.

"I hope we can go on from here and get some work done for the county. It was a close race and I'm just glad that it's over."

Tressler said she hasn't made any decisions on her next course of action. Though it is unlikely a government entity can call for a revote, she has the option to appeal the election in court.

Tressler said she didn't expect the results to be different Tuesday. She just wanted to verify them.

"I got into the race kind of late and I spent a lot of time thinking where I could have gotten 30 more votes," she said. "Of course, it's disappointing to come that close. It is hard because I feel like I didn't lose. I feel like I ran out of time."

Boff and Tressler emerged from a field of four candidates in the July 15 Republican primary.

The District 5 post is currently held by Linda Ledbetter, who chose not to seek re-election.

There was no Democratic opposition for the seat, so Boff is scheduled to begin his four-year term in January.

Had the election counted only votes at precincts, Tressler would have won the race by 33 votes.

But once the optical scan absentee ballots and early voting numbers were tabulated, Boff totaled 3,159 votes to Tressler's 3,129.

The entire recount process took one hour, which Forsyth County Chief Voter Registrar Gary J. Smith said was because "everybody worked hard and pulled it together."

"We got in. We got out," he said. "We answered a lot of questions the candidates had. I thought it went well."

Smith said he was slightly worried the numbers would not be identical to those calculated after the Aug. 5 runoff.

But when the votes counted Tuesday morning came back the same as those two weeks earlier, Smith said it was further proof the process works.

"We have gone through and we have done what was supposed to be done," he said. "It was a sense of doing a job right."

The commission district, which covers Cumming and much of eastern Forsyth, was one of three on the July 15 ballot.

Brian Tam won re-election in south Forsyth's District 2, besting three Republican challengers with 55 percent of the vote.

In District 4, or north Forsyth, Patrick Bell defeated incumbent David Richard, also with 55 percent of the vote. Bell will face Democrat Jon Flack in the Nov. 4 election.

Commissioners receive the bulk of their compensation based on the number of meetings they attend. They are paid $125 per meeting for up to 20 meetings per month.

They are routinely paid for the maximum number of meetings each month. Ledbetter made $34,924.55 in 2007, according to county records.