Tobiassen said he’s hesitant to talk recount in unsettled Aurora City Council race before Nov. 15


    AURORA | Nearly a week after the Aurora City Council election, the winner of one of two at-large council seats is still unsettled.

    Former Regional Transportation District chair Tom Tobiassen and retired Col. Dave Gruber are still within 73 votes of each other as of Monday afternoon. Gruber is leading  with 13,507 votes, and Tobiassen had 13,434 votes. With the current number of votes, it would take a difference of 68 votes to trigger an automatic recount. But officials from the Arapahoe County and Adams County clerk and recorder offices say ballots are still being counted.

    If a mandatory recount were to take place, the City of Aurora, which certifies the ballot, would pick up the tab, according to Arapahoe County elections spokeswoman Haley McKean. Though as Lynn Bartels from the Secretary of State’s office points out, candidates do have the option of paying for a recount if an automatic recount doesn’t happen.. Tobiassen said he doesn’t think he’s inclined to pay for a recount, but he will have a final answer upon finalized votes.

    Arapahoe County updated ballot counts at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

    McKean said Arapahoe County would post another update Wednesday around 4 p.m.Adams County said it expects another update between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., leaving the seat in question. Votes will not be official until the counties canvas, which is expected to be next week.

    Tobiassen has led the vote count so far in Adams County. Gruber has led the vote count so far in Arapahoe County.

    “I’m sitting on my hands like everybody else,” he said.

    Douglas County results have not changed since early Wednesday morning.

    This table shows vote totals as of late Nov. 10.

    AURORA CITY COUNCILArapahoe CountyDouglas CountyAdams CountyTotal
    Brian Arnold7521345868141
    Dave Gruber1273710469813539
    Reid Hettich2689152472951
    Allison Hiltz1610256151317671
    Tim Huffman110586472311845
    Abel Laeke270862502964
    Tom Tobiassen12653
    Russ Wagner6148347806962

    Even if these vote totals were finalized, the slim margin wouldn’t be enough to initiate an automatic recount. State law requires a recount take place when the difference in vote totals is less than one half of one percent. Right now, that difference between Tobiassen and Gruber exceeds the half-percent, according to calculations, which includes tallies from all three counties, from Adams County.

    Tobiassen said he and campaign officials are monitoring the count and looking at options.

    See all Aurora election results

    “I sat with Councilman Bob LeGare a few years ago when he was ahead and wound up losing by 57 votes. So we’ll have to see. But Dave Gruber is a good guy, and if it goes his way he will serve our city well,” Tobiassen said Tuesday night, after polling locations closed.

    Both candidates praised each other and said they would be patient.

    Gruber said he thinks Tobiassen is a great guy and he’s been impressed with the candidate. But if the vote remains close, Gruber said he’d petition for a recount. 

    “It’s unfortunate that you have a winner and a loser. But both want to be able to talk to the teams and say we did our best. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom did it as well,” Gruber said, adding that the campaign has been a long journey but is relieved to be nearing the finish line.