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Editorial: Recount decision makes sense

There were some legitimate reasons for Jamal Abdulahi to request a recount in last week’s Rosemount City Council primary. He had finished tied for fourth in a contest that would send four candidates to November’s general election.

Abdulahi ultimately lost the election on a coin flip to Alba Nowlin, who tied Abdulahi Aug. 12. But he had five days to submit a written request for a hand recount at the city’s expense.

It would have been an understandable choice. Ties are unusual in elections, and with the primary being run by a first-time clerk there were opportunities for errors to sneak in.

Ultimately, though, Abdulahi opted not to challenge the results. For reasons he explains in a guest column on the next page, he chose instead to congratulate Nowlin and move on.

That is understandable, too. As Abdulahi writes, he got into the election to do good things for Rosemount. To watch over the city’s finances, among other things. That’s a view that wouldn’t match well with asking the city to pay for a recount that might easily have brought back the same result, or even declared Nowlin the outright winner.

And, ultimately it’s not clear how much difference a recount would have made anyway. Abdulahi and Nowlin each received 252 votes in the primary. That put them more than 100 votes behind third place finisher Kerry Hiben, 149 behind runner up Shaun Nelson and 374 behind incumbent Mark DeBettignies. Though things could certainly change between August and November that’s a lot of ground to make up in a race that will elect only two council members.

We applaud Abdulahi for getting involved in his community, and for taking enough of an interest to compete in the primary. The choice he made this week suggests he is ready to continue serving.