FARMERSVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A record number of voters turned out for an election in the Collin County town of Farmersville on Saturday.
But the race for mayor was decided by a razor thin margin of only four votes.
The incumbent who lost is mounting a legal challenge to keep her successor from taking over.
Randy Rice is a retiree who spends his free time storm-spotting around Farmersville.
Now he has created a political storm of his own in the Collin County town of 3,300 when he launched an underdog campaign for mayor against incumbent Diane Piwko.
“I came out ahead I’m the winner. The last few years there’s been a divisiveness that has set up and I want to do away with that,” says Rice.
But the incumbent isn’t going quietly and has filed a lawsuit claiming ballot irregularities.
Piwko referred comment to her attorneys who said in a statement to CBS11.
“Due to the exceedingly close results, in this year’s mayoral race, our client Ms. Diane Piwko has asked our firm to investigate certain irregularities in the voting process.”
“In terms of administration everything went by the book,” says Collin County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet.
He says he didn’t see any irregularities other than a record turnout of 25 percent.
Rice thinks Piwko should concede.
He says the town has been wasting too much time and energy delaying approval for a controversial Muslim cemetery that has polarized politics here for three years.
He wants the city to accept it and move forward.
But he will have to pay out of his own pocket to fight Piwko’s legal challenge
while waiting for a judge to rule on the results.
“I was elected it’s time to turn things over,” says Rice.
Both candidates plan to sit in the mayor’s seat at the start of the next city council meeting on Tuesday.