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In Fla., Election Decided By Toss Of A Coin

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In Fla., Election Decided By Toss Of A Coin

Politics

In Fla., Election Decided By Toss Of A Coin

In Fla., Election Decided By Toss Of A Coin

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Elections don't get any closer than the race for Riverwood Community Development District Group Four Supervisor in Charlotte County, Fla. After a manual recount found the two candidates tied, the race was decided by a coin toss. The loser of the coin toss, Walt Powers, talks about the election.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

In the end, the election came down to a coin toss - the flip of a Kennedy half dollar in the race for supervisor with a community development district in Charlotte County, Florida. The incumbent, Walt Powers, and challenger, John Lyons, ended up in an exact tie, 434 votes apiece. And Mr. Powers, I gather you ended up on the unlucky side of this deal.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHING)

BLOCK: I guess you could say that, yes. Mr. Lyons called tails, and the coin came up tails, and Lady Luck determined the final and deciding vote. And that's what it was.

BLOCK: Huh. Well, let's back up. The original vote showed you one vote up over John Lyons, and then there was a recount.

BLOCK: That's correct.

BLOCK: And there was a troublesome ballot, I gather. Somebody had filled in both circles, then crossed out the circle for you and that vote was given to your opponent, so you end up with a tie.

BLOCK: That's correct.

BLOCK: So then, by Florida law, it's determined by drawing lots, right?

BLOCK: That's right. It's determined by lot.

BLOCK: And how come your opponent got to call heads or tails?

BLOCK: Well, the supervisor of elections and their attorney stepped aside and chose a number between one and 10 and wrote it down on a piece of paper. They then asked Mr. Lyons to pick a number between one and 10, he chose seven, and then I chose six. The number that they'd written down was seven.

BLOCK: You just can't catch a break.

BLOCK: It's really kind of amusing because had they asked me first, I had already decided I was going to pick number seven.

BLOCK: Oh, I see.

BLOCK: And you know, I've been thinking about the coin toss for two days, and I had already determined that if I was the one that called it, I was going to call tails. So, it was luck all the way around. Good luck for him, bad luck for me.

BLOCK: Well, Mr. Powers, have you gone back and thought about, maybe I should've done this a little bit differently during my campaign? One more vote and I would be in a whole different position right now.

BLOCK: Do you think?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: You've thought about that a little bit, huh?

BLOCK: Oh yes. As a matter of fact, my wife said, you know, if you had gone out and knocked on a few more doors and shaken a few more hands, that might have tipped the election. And I turned to her and I said, OK, now I have a question to ask of you. And she says, yes, I voted for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BLOCK: Always good to check. Well, Mr. Powers, you sound like a good sport. Thanks for talking with us.

BLOCK: You're very welcome.

BLOCK: That's Walt Powers, who lost the coin toss that decided the race for supervisor in a community development district in Charlotte County, Florida.

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