Rep. Tony Shipley, left; and Ben Mallicote.
KINGSPORT - Tennessee 2nd House District challenger Ben Mallicote said today he hasn’t ruled out contesting his narrow loss to incumbent state Rep. Tony Shipley in the GOP Primary by 11 votes.
According to unofficial results from the Sullivan County Election Commission, Shipley received 3,405 votes to Mallicote’s 3,394.
Shipley lost the Election Day popular vote to Mallicote but garnered 91 absentee votes compared to Mallicote’s 36.
After the election, Sullivan County Elections Administrator Jason Booher reported recording no provisional ballots. On Friday, he reported two provisional ballots.
Meanwhile, Mallicote supporters calling into the Times-News newsroom wanted a recount.
Mallicote said after the election the idea of a recount hadn’t crossed his mind.
But Tennessee law does not permit a recount, only a “contest” which may only be filed by a candidate or the incumbent office holder, according to Booher.
“A contest in a primary would be filed with the (Tennessee) Republican Party,” Booher said in an e-mail.
Other callers to the Times-News were upset they weren’t notified by the Sullivan County Election Commission that state lawmakers had redistricted them out of the 2nd House District.
Booher responded the election commission had published changed House District boundaries in the newspaper and did mail a noitice to each active voter notifying them of a change in their polling location.