(VitalNews.org) – A Washington state politician lost his race to become council member by a single vote after deciding not to vote for himself. The election took place on November 7, 2023, but was so close that the counting process took nearly a month, with the narrow result being announced on December 1. The tiny city of Rainier is home to just 2,400 people, although it has seen a substantial influx of people in recent years, a key issue in both candidate’s election campaigns.
Damion Green, a 40-year-old auto body shop worker, lost his campaign with 246 votes. Ryan Roth, a 33-year-old landfill manager, pipped him at the post with just 247 votes. One of those 247 votes came from Roth himself, but he admitted to only casting a vote after his wife had convinced him to do so. Speaking to reporters after the result, Green said that he had worried about voting for himself, thinking that it would be a “narcissistic” thing to do. He accepted his defeat, adding that he thought that God simply did not want him to win the election. Green went on to describe himself and Roth as two fathers who want “the best thing” for their community, but just have different visions of how to achieve that.
Roth, who only mailed a ballot for himself at the very last minute, expressed shock and pleasure at the outcome. He celebrated the close victory by taking his family out for dinner at a Japanese restaurant before watching a football game. He described the closeness of the votes as “pretty insane” and told reporters that the process had served to illustrate just how vital every single vote is in each election. If he had not voted and the race had been tied, a coin toss would have decided who became council member. If he had abstained, and Green had voted for himself, Roth would have instead lost. As Roth said to members of the press, every vote counts and every vote matters.
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