East Texas Politics Gone Bad - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/16/06 - Trinity County

East Texas Politics Gone Bad

Trinity County Judge Mark Evans was declared the winner of the recent election by 13 votes. "I won the election 1585 to 1572, it was a close election but it was a fair and square election and honest election," says Judge Evans.

His opponent, Jimmie Thorton wants a recount, but Judge Evans filed a petition to block the recount. "I have a little bit of a concern about a hand recount. I don't understand. We went away from hand counts for a reason because you introduce elements of human error into the recount, " says Judge Evans.

Fredie Chapman is the Trinity County Democratic Chair. He was to administer the recount but was served with a restraining order, stopping him from administering the count hours before it was supposed to happen. "I can understand the gentleman who lost the race by such a small margin wanting a recount but I don't comprehend the factor of an individual who won the race is trying to make sure this isn't verified," says Chapman.

"I'm fully confident in those boxes locked up in the clerks office I have the winning number of votes," says Judge Evans.

Judge Evans believes there is a conflict of interest because Chapman signed as a recount representative for Evans' opponent which he later resigned. "I am a public servant. I am elected to this position. My main goal is to see that every vote is counted that is a proper vote and also to see that this election process goes forward," says Chapman.

Evans and Chapman agree they want what's best for the Trinity county and would like the issue resolved. Mr. Thorton did not return our phone calls. Folks in Trinity county say it's going to take the courts to work out this political mess.

For now Evans will keep his job. Chapman has stepped down as supervisor of the recount committee.

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