Recount request: Puente requests manual count following 287-266 loss to Uhlhorn

HARLINGEN — Frank Puente knows the odds are stacked against him.

But today, officials will conduct a manual recount of votes cast in the May 7 election in which District 2 City Commissioner Tudor Uhlhorn won 287 votes to Puente’s 266.

“I’m doing it for my supporters and my peace of mind,” said Puente, who served on the city commission from 2003 to 2006. “They wanted to make sure everything came out the way it did.”

Uhlhorn called Puente’s request for a recount “part of the process.”

“That’s his right,” Uhlhorn said.

Some ballots might shave Uhlhorn’s 21-vote margin, Puente said.

Puente said nine mail-in ballots went to Uhlhorn while he took seven mail-in ballots.

City Secretary Amanda Elizondo said eight provisional ballots, or ballots cast by residents whose voter eligibility is in question, have been rejected.

Puente said he paid $300 for the recount for the District 2 election, paying $100 for a recount of the Bonham Elementary School ballot box; $100 for a recount of the Zavala Elementary School ballot box; and $100 for a recount of the early vote.

Former City Commissioner Robert Leftwich and Richard Alvarez, a retired state dental technician, will serve as his inspectors, Puente said.

Uhlhorn said his inspectors will be attorney Randy Whittington and Nick Consiglio, the president of Harlingen Proud who serves as a member of the Valley International Airport board and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The election marked a rematch for Puente and Uhlhorn.

In 2013, Uhlhorn won 479 votes to Puente’s 335 votes.