Recount confirms incumbent Butler Twp. trustee ousted in tight election

Mike Thein is one of two newly-elected Butler Twp. trustees. Thein's five-vote win over incumbent Ken Betz was confirmed Tuesday following an official re-count of votes.

Combined ShapeCaption
Mike Thein is one of two newly-elected Butler Twp. trustees. Thein's five-vote win over incumbent Ken Betz was confirmed Tuesday following an official re-count of votes.

A recount of Butler Twp. trustee votes on Tuesday verified the original result of the Nov. 2 election, confirming Mike Thein as one of two new township trustees.

Recounts are held when the difference in votes between candidates is less than one half of one percent. In this case, Mike Thein accumulated just five more votes than incumbent candidate Ken Betz, with 675 votes for Thein and 670 for Betz. Bryson Jackson was also voted to the board, with 909 votes.

In a re-count, at least 5% of the votes in question are randomly chosen and then counted by hand, Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said. For this election, Butler Twp. C precinct was selected.

“We did the hand count this morning, and that hand count matched the election result for that precinct. We then ran that precinct on our electronic machines to do the counting. That matched, so then we ran the entire election (count) again for that race, which matched as well, so the original results stand,” Rezabek said.

Thein said he was shocked when he initially learned how tight the race was against Betz. Prior to the counting of provisional votes, Thein led by just three votes.

“I would’ve never guessed an outcome that close,” he said. “Everyone who called me that night was like, ‘I don’t know whether to say congratulations or what.’”

Owner of Thein Financial Group, Thein said he looks forward to serving as trustee for a township he has served in other areas throughout the years, noting it feels like a natural progression for him. Since 2016, he has served on the township’s board of zoning appeals and the budget committee. As a condition to serving as township trustee, Thein will no longer serve on the board of zoning appeals or budget committee.

Thein has also served on the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce board for over 20 years.

“I’ve been very engaged with the township already. I’m very community-minded and I’ve been in the area for over 25 years,” Thein said. “I’m happy with it, and I would still be helping even if I wasn’t elected.”

The results from the recount will be confirmed, or recertified, during the Dec. 7 Board of Elections meeting.

About the Author