Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include an early Wednesday morning comment from Heather Jefts on the results of the recount.
Rodney Robinson was met with cheers from his supporters late Tuesday night as he announced his victory.
Robinson’s election to the Cedar Park City Council was secured in a recount of more than 5,700 ballots by Williamson County elections officials that started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and didn’t wrap up until after 11 p.m.
In the end, the recount confirmed Robinson’s two-vote victory over incumbent Heather Jefts. He’ll be sworn in Thursday, along with newly-elected council member Tim Kelly and Anne Duffy, who won re-election over the challenge of Hulyne Christopher.
Thanking his family, the voters who supported him and his campaign staff in the hallways of the Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, he said he was excited to start serving Cedar Park.
"I’m very thankful and happy with the results and I’m looking forward to working for all citizens of Cedar Park,” Robinson said. “I’m glad that the recount was done to give Heather and her supporters some peace of mind.”
Jefts released a statement early Wednesday morning thanking her supporters, volunteers and campaign staff.
"I want to also congratuate my opponent, Rodney Robinson, and wish him well on (the) council," Jefts said. ... "Regardless of who you voted for, you can be assured that our electoral process wored, and that is a good thing."
"I'm grateful for the trust that was placed in me to have played a part in shaping our community's future. It's no easy thing, but I'd like to think I carried myself with compassion and professionalism, and worked hard to be deserving of that trust," Jefts said, adding that she said she beleives she had a positive impact on Cedar Park by helping to implement the city's first homestead exemption, paying down bond debt, growing public safety departments, increasing funding for resources and benefits to attract and retain the best professionals, increasing sustanability and protecting the environment, adding more parklands trails and public spaces, and implementing ethics reform.
Jefts said she is planning to take some time to catch up with family and friends.
Election Day results had Jefts winning by a single vote. However, after provisional and mailed ballots were counted, the vote swung Robinson’s way. With Robinson holding a razor-thin margin when the Cedar Park City Council canvassed the votes, Jefts opted to ask for a recount.
Prior to Tuesday’s recount, both candidates had said they would accept the results of the recount if it was conducted properly.
In an interview prior to the recount, Robinson said he hopes the election and recount will spur people to take local races more seriously and vote in future elections.
“It may sound cliché to say, ‘Every vote counts.’ But you can literally point to this election. It should get you to get out there to vote in future elections,” Robinson said.
Late Tuesday, Robinson said he was still thinking about what he wants to tackle in his first term on the council.
However, Robinson said did say would be interested in creating a policy that restricts smoking or tobacco usage outside of restaurants in outdoor seating areas.
After Kelly, Robinson and Duffy are sworn in during Thursday’s council meeting, the council will move through a consent agenda that includes a resolution authorizing an advance funding agreement with the Texas Department Of Transportation for The Brushy Creek North Fork Trail Project and a resolution nominating Cedar Park business Voltabox of Texas, Inc. as a Texas Enterprise Project.
The Texas Economic Development website says the enterprise fund provides a “financial incentive for those companies whose projects would contribute significant capital investment and new employment opportunities to the state’s economy.”
The council will also consider a number of resolutions, including one that would authorize spending up to p to $795,000 through a professional services agreement with Halff Associates for the design of Lakeline Park Phase 1.
A discussion of legal issues concerning the roadway relocation related to the Destination Bell Boulevard project and an update on negotiations with economic development prospects are on the council’s closed-door executive session agenda.
The Cedar Park City Council meets Thursday, May 23 at 450 Cypress Creek Road, Bldg. 4. The regular council session is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.