SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Former Bexar County Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela finished a distant third in the race for the Democratic nomination for sheriff March 3, and now, she wants a recount.
She submitted to the Bexar County Democratic Party, a petition for a recount last Thursday. However, party secretary Mark Camann says it was not accompanied by a deposit. In this case, the required deposit is $73,500 to be paid for by the candidate requesting the recount. The Texas Election Code requires $100 per precinct for Election Day plus $10o for early voting. The Bexar County Elections Department would conduct the recount funded by the candidate’s deposit.
“If the recount shows that Vela is the winner, she would get her deposit back,” said Camann.
However, as of Monday afternoon, Vela had not paid the deposit, so Camann says her application for a recount is incomplete. The deadline is Thursday, two days after the Democratic Party of Bexar County canvasses the votes from the primary last week.
Vela got more than 12% of the vote (19,294 votes) to finish in third place. The winner, Sheriff Javier Salazar, got nearly 54% (85,020 votes). That’s a difference of nearly 66,000 votes. Sharon Rodriguez came in second to Salazar with nearly 30,000 votes.
In her recount petition, Vela claimed there was fraud, but Camann says Vela provided no details.
“A recount would not address any issues of alleged fraud, but would be limited only to re-examining the ballots that were actually cast,” said Camann.
The Democratic Party of Bexar County will canvass the votes at 6 pm Tuesday at Woodlawn Pointe Center.
Vela has another battle on her hands —this one in court. She’s been indicted on felony and misdemeanor charges linked to incidents that allegedly occurred when she was serving as Bexar County Constable Precinct 2.