Krichbaum wins race for council in Norwalk

NORWALK Scott Krichbaum is Norwalk's comeback kid. Krichbaum was losing Norwalk's 1st
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Scott Krichbaum is Norwalk's comeback kid.

Krichbaum was losing Norwalk's 1st Ward city council race by eight votes on election night, but was declared the winner Wednesday after provisional and absentee ballots were counted Monday.

Krichbaum, who is a Republican, beat his Democratic adversary Lynn Chapin 321-318.

But Huron County Board of Elections officials say the three-vote margin requires an automatic recount.

"Both candidates have verbally agreed to waive their five-day waiting period, so we're doing the recount Monday at 9 a.m.," deputy director Sharon Locke said. "It should only take a couple hours unless we run into problems."

Krichbaum didn't show up for the official election results announcement Wednesday morning.

Chapin, who did make an appearance, said she was disappointed with the results.

"I worked very hard ... but I lost fair and square, so, so be it," she said.

Chapin was declared the race's unofficial winner on election night, when she was in the lead by a margin of eight, 311-303.

Absentee and provisional ballots gave Krichbaum 18 more votes, while Chapin received seven.

The change of fate may have prevented a lawsuit, as at least one 1st Ward resident vowed to sue the board of elections if Chapin won the race.

That's because Chapin technically lives in Norwalk's 4th Ward, not the 1st, and Norwalk's charter requires a councilperson representing a ward to live within that ward.

Chapin lived in the city's 1st Ward from 1992 until 2002, when unbeknownst to her, city council redrew the city's ward boundaries to more evenly distribute Norwalk's growing population.

The new ward lines put Chapin's home in the 4th Ward.

Huron County Board of Elections' database was not updated to reflect the changes and failed to catch the error when Chapin filed for candidacy earlier this year.

Although Krichbaum was declared the winner Wednesday, Chapin isn't giving up yet in the controversial race.

An automatic recount could easily swing the vote in her favor once again.

"As it stands today he's the winner, and we can leave it at that," Chapin said. "It's gone back and forth so many times."