In the long, and many-storied road to the Itasca County sheriff’s election, Bryan Johnson has taken another turn in his campaign: He’s asking for a recount.

Johnson filed paperwork with the county requesting a recount last week, a move that could require him to pay for the recount out of his own pocket. LaNea Johnson, Johnson’s wife and assistant to his campaign, says that it was a decision that their family and friends were solidly behind.

“It’s a decision that we wouldn’t have gone forth with if we didn’t feel like it’s a possibility that Bryan could come out the winner,” she said..
Separated by just 219 votes in the final tally, incumbent sheriff Vic Johnson was declared the winner. Vicky Martin, elections administrator for Itasca County, says that before any recount the state canvass of results must occur, and that’s scheduled for Nov. 27. 

“After that anyone with less than a 100 vote difference, or less than half a percent difference in votes can request a recount that is publicly funded. For those that don’t make that criteria, they can request a recount at their own cost,” stated Martin.

The Minnesota House District 5A recount, which covers three counties, has been scheduled by the Secretary of State’s office for Dec. 3.

In the race for the District 5A seat DFL candidate John Persell led by eight votes ahead of Republican incumbent Representative Matt Bliss.

Martin says that she has scheduled Johnson’s recount for Dec. 10.

When asked for a comment regarding the recount, incumbent Sheriff Vic Williams only wanted to show his support for how the election was run.

“I think the integrity of our voting system is very good and our election officials are highly regarded,” Williams said.

According to Secretary of State spokesperson Ben Petok, since the recount for District 5A includes multiple counties, including a portion of Itasca, that recount will happen out of the state office. The Itasca County Sheriff election recount will be facilitated by the Itasca County Auditor’s Office.

“We’ve put a lot into this and human error is always a potential,” LeNea Johnson said.