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Two-vote margin for Matthes with most votes counted in mayor's race

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, left, and challenger Tim Matthes are in a tight race. Updated election results released Monday show Matthes with a 1,429-1,427 lead. - Tim Kelly/Staff photo
Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, left, and challenger Tim Matthes are in a tight race. Updated election results released Monday show Matthes with a 1,429-1,427 lead.
— image credit: Tim Kelly/Staff photo

On Election Night, one vote separated them.

More than a week later, after nearly all ballots have been counted, the margin is two votes — a lead of 1,434-1,432 for Tim Matthes over Lary Coppola in the Port Orchard mayor’s race.

That’s the tally released Wednesday by the Kitsap County Auditor’s Office.The election will be certified Nov. 29, and a recount is certain to follow.

A recount done by machine is required if the two candidates’ vote totals are within one-half of 1 percent, which would be a difference of about 15 votes or less.

After the preliminary totals the night of the Nov. 8 election showed Matthes with a 913-912 edge, subsequent updates saw his lead increase to as much as 13 votes before the gap closed tighter this week.

Coppola, the incumbent seeking a second four-year term, said the prolonged waiting to know the election’s outcome is tough.

“It is hard,” he said. “I’m just being very philosophical about it. I belive everything happens for a reason.

“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, and if it’s not, it won’t.”

Matthes has not responded to requests for comment made by phone and email.

There are more challenge ballots that could be counted. Those are ballots that were not signed by a voter or have some other problem with the signatures on them.

County elections manager Dolores Gilmore said the people who submitted those ballots have been sent letters, and if they provide a valid signature by Nov. 28 their ballots will be counted.

If a recount is required, it will take place the first week in December, Gilmore said.

That means it’s likely that when Coppola fulfills his ceremonial duties lighting the community Christmas tree on Dec. 3, the winner in the race won’t be known.

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