The Republican candidate won a tight Iowa House contest by 11 votes in the second recount, reversing the outcome from the first recount, which showed a Democrat leading.
However, the outcome is not without disagreement.
Republican Luana Stoltenberg won election to House District 81, collecting 5,073 votes to 5,062 to Democrat Craig Cooper, based on the most recent recount allowed by a three-member board.
“Thank you so much to everyone in District 81 for the honor of representing you in the Iowa House!. I want to hear what is important to you and how I can serve you these next couple years,” Stoltenberg wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Cooper conceded to Stoltenberg. He thanked his supporters and accepted the results of the second recount, but expressed reservations about the recounting method.
Luana Stoltenberg wins recount in another flip of winner in House District 81 race https://t.co/3CCp0oJnba— Quad-City Times (@qctimes) December 7, 2022
Cooper expressed great concerns that the original recount done by the Scott County auditor differed dramatically from the second recount performed by a three-member board chosen by the contenders. Cooper appointed Democrat Bill Davis, a former Scott County Attorney.
Stoltenberg chose Republican former Scott County Supervisor Diane Holst. They consented on the third member, longtime Democratic Scott County Supervisor Jim Hancock.
Cooper led the initial recount, which ended on November 18, by six votes. Both candidates received more votes in the auditor’s count, with Cooper receiving 31 more votes and Stoltenberg receiving 14.
Scott County Auditor Kerri Tompkins said that the three-member board performed both a machine count and a hand count of the ballots. The board’s machine count, according to Tompkins, was very similar to the auditor’s recount and affirmed the total number of votes cast.