A recount confirms that a 22-year-old college student has won the Manitowoc mayor’s election. Officials spent three days reviewing the ballots from April 7 and found that Justin Nickels defeated Dave Soeldner by 17 votes, two more than the margin on Election Night. The recount turned up 20 ballots that not originally counted due to improper markings. It gave Nickels 11 more votes, and Soeldner nine. Soeldner says he might appeal the recount, but he’ll have to talk to his lawyers first. He said he watched the recount himself, while Nickels had attorneys with him. After the first day of the process, Soeldner said one of Nickels’ lawyers urged him to give up and said the recount was a waste of time. Soeldner called it boorish and intimidating. Nickels said he had no part of that. City officials said Nickels’ attorneys asked that the count be halted Wednesday with two districts yet to be tallied. But City Clerk Jennifer Hudon says that’s not how a recount works and it had to go to the end. The new mayor will replace Kevin Crawford, who stepped down after 21 years.
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