Pigman wins House race vote recount
Highlands TodaySEBRING - Emergency room physician Cary Pigman prevailed over his Republican opponent, former Rep. Randy Johnson, in a narrow recount vote win Saturday for the hard-fought House District 55 race.
Published: August 20, 2012
Published: August 20, 2012
From a total 11,926 votes, Pigman won by 34, after the machine vote recount in four counties that comprise the House district concluded.
Pigman ended up picking eight more votes from his lead before the recount, receiving 5,980 ballots over Johnson's 5,946.
The 55-year-old will face Democrat Crystal Drake, of Moore Haven, in the November general election in the district, which includes Highlands, Glades, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.
The Florida Hospital doctor, who was working Friday, Saturday and Sunday, described the weekend as a "roller coaster."
Monday, he was ready to kick off the second phase of his campaigning for the general election.
He thanked all his supporters and said his victory was "not a single effort."
The "novice" to political office owed his win over a "formidable" and "skillful opponent," to the fact that he and his family are "established" members of the community.
While the former Celebration state representative led Pigman in the three counties of St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Glades, it was Pigman's lead of 1,210 votes in Highlands County that handed him the victory.
After the recount, Pigman picked up one more vote in Highlands County, said Assistant Supervisor of Elections Karen Kensinger.
Johnson, 52, led by 53 votes in Glades County, 951 in Okeechobee County and 172 in part of St. Lucie County that makes up District 55.
Florida law requires a machine recount if the difference is less than .5 percent, and automatic manual recount if the difference is less than .25 percent.
Pigman initially led the race by 26 votes.
On Saturday, canvassing boards in Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades and St. Lucie counties met to examine about 460 provisional ballots, undercounts and overcounts.
On undervoted ballots, individual voters did not mark either Pigman or Johnson. If a mark appears there, the canvassing board must follow the examples set by law.
Overvotes occur when a voter chooses more than one candidate.
Voters cast provisional ballots if they can't prove their identity, their address or precinct. If the missing information is verified, the canvassing board determines which ballots should be counted.
In the weeks leading up to the election, Pigman said he knocked on about 5,800 doors and shook thousands of hands, according to an earlier Highlands Today story.
"To be honest with you, better than 95 percent of it was fun," Pigman said Wednesday. "For a politician, this constitutes work, but I got to meet many families."
Pigman said he got lots of help from money contributors and fellow Grace Bible Church members, as well as Samaritan's Touch, Big Brothers Big Sisters and other organizations of which he's a member. He's the president of the county medical society, so he also was helped by Florida Hospital and Highlands Regional Medical Center.
He also waved signs. "That turned out to be a lot of fun, too."
And it's a lesson he learned. From now on, there'll be no more frowning at candidates on street corners.