Mayor concedes defeat after weekend recount

By The Associated Press

CHARLESTOWN — The longtime Republican mayor of a southern Indiana city conceded defeat Monday to his Democratic rival after a weekend hand recount gave her a 24-vote edge in November's election.

Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall conceded to Democratic challenger Treva Hodges 41 days after the election left the mayoral race's outcome in question. Hall has served for 16 years as mayor of the small Ohio River city that's located just northeast of Louisville, Kentucky.

Hodges, who will take office on Jan. 1, said Hall’s move will allow “people to come to terms with the finality of it all and that’s with both sides."

A hand recount on Saturday dropped Hodges margin of victory to 24 votes from her earlier 32-vote edge out of nearly 2,700 votes cast in November's election, the News and Tribune reported. A judge was scheduled to hear Hall's court challenge in the race Tuesday, but his attorney filed a motion Monday to dismiss that challenge.

Tom Lowe, an attorney for Hodges, said he felt confident his client would have won if that challenge had continued.

In his court challenge, Hall had alleged that there were errors in the counting of absentee ballots, the programming of the electronic voting system and other problems.

“Even though we are confident flaws occurred, we do not feel we can prove they changed the election results," Hall said in a statement. “We understand that to continue the suit may result in months of legal wrangling that would not be good for the community. Therefore, we are conceding the race and ceasing all legal action.”

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